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THOUGH we must look to the Avesta for information regarding the main outlines of the Parsi religion, it is to. Pahlavi writings we must refer for most of the details relating to the traditions, ceremonies, and customs of this ancient faith, which styles itself emphatically 'the good religion of the Mazdayasnians,' and calls its laity bahdînân, or 'those of the good religion.' In the fragments of the Avesta which still exist, we may trace the solid foundations of the religion, laid by philosophic bards and lawgivers of old, with many a mouldering column and massive fragment of the superstructure. erected upon them by the ancient priesthood. These are the last remnants of the faith held by Cyrus, the anointed of the Lord (Isaiah xlv. 1), the righteous one (Is. xli. 2), or eagle (Is. xlvi. 11), whom He called from the east, and the shepherd who performed His pleasure (Is. xliv. 28); scattered fragments of the creed professed by Darius in his inscriptions, when he attributes his successes to 'the will of Aûramazdâ;' and mouldering ruins of the comparatively pure religion of oriental 'barbarism,' which Alexander and his civilising Greek successors were unable wholly to destroy, and replace by their own. idolatrous superstitions. While in the Pahlavi texts we, find much of the mediaeval edifice built by later Persian priest craft upon the old foundations, with a strange mixture of old and new materials, and exhibiting the usual symptom of declining powers, a strong insistence upon complex forms and minute details, with little of the freedom of treatment and simplicity of outline characteristic of the ancient bards.

{p. x}

To understand the relationship between these two classes of Parsi sacred writings, it must be observed that the Avesta and Pahlavi of the same scripture, taken together, form its Avesta and Zand, terms which are nearly synonymous with 'revelation and commentary.' Both words are derived from verbal roots implying 'knowledge;' Avesta being the Pahlavi avistâk, which may most probably be traced to the past participle of â, 'to,' + vid, 'to know,' with the meaning of 'what is announced' or 'declaration;' and Zand, being the Pahlavi form of Av. zainti (traceable in the word âzaintis), must be referred to the root zan, 'to know,' with the meaning of 'knowledge, understanding[1].' European scholars, misled probably by Muhammadan writers, have converted the phrase 'Avesta and Zand' into 'Zend-Avesta,' and have further identified Zand with the language of the Avesta. This use of the word Zand is, however, quite at variance with the practice of all Parsi writers who have been independent of European influence, as they apply the term Zand only to the Pahlavi translations and explanations of their sacred books, the original text of which they call Avesta. So that when they use the phrase 'Avesta and Zand' they mean the whole of any scripture, both the Avesta text and Pahlavi translation and commentary. And the latter, being often their only means of understanding the former, has now become of nearly equal authority with the Avesta itself. It is probable, indeed, that the first Zand was really written in the Avesta language, as we find many traces of such Avesta commentaries interpolated both in the Avesta and Pahlavi texts of the Parsi scriptures; but this is rather a matter of, European inference than of Parsi belief. The later (or Pahlavi) Zand appears also, in many places, to be merely a translation of this earlier (or Avesta) Zand, with additional explanations offered by the Pahlavi translators.

Regarding the sacredness of these Pahlavi translations, in the eyes of the Parsis, there can be no manner of doubt, so far as they cannot be shown to be inconsistent with the

[1. See Haug's Essays, on the Sacred Language, Writings, and Religion of the Parsis, second edition, London, 1878; pp. 121, 122.]

{p. xi}

original Avesta text. But besides these translations there is another class of Pahlavi religious writings whose authority is more open to dispute. These writings are either translations and Zands of Avesta texts no longer extant, or they contain the opinions and decisions of high-priests of later times, when the Pahlavi language was on the decline. Such writings would hardly be considered of indisputable authority by any Parsi of the present day, unless they coincided with his own preconceived opinions. But for outsiders they have the inestimable value either of supplying numerous details of religious traditions and customs which would be vainly sought for elsewhere, or of being contemporary records of the religious ideas of the Parsis in the declining days of their Mazdayasnian faith. It is with a few of such writings this volume has to deal; but before describing them more minutely it will be desirable to give some account of the Pahlavi language in which they are written.


The term 'Pahlavi,' in its widest extent, is applied to all the varying forms of the mediæval Persian language, from the time when the grammatical inflexions of ancient Persian were dropped, till the period when the modern alphabet was invented, and the language became corrupted into modern Persian by the adoption of numerous Arabic words and phrases. Some traces of Pahlavi words and phrases, written in old Semitic characters, have been found in the legends of coins struck by certain kings of Persian provinces, subordinate to the Greek successors of Alexander, as early As the third century B.C.[1] Further traces have been discovered in the legends on some provincial coins of the time of the Arsacidan dynasty. But, practically, our acquaintance with Pahlavi commences with the inscriptions, on rocks and coins, of Ardakhshîr-i Pâpakân (A.D. 226-140), the founder of the Sasanian dynasty, and ends with certain religious

[1. See Levy's Beiträge zur aramäischen Münzkunde Eran's, und zur Kunde der ältern Pehlewi-Schrift, Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenländischen Gesellschaft, Leipzig, 1867; XXI, 421-465.]

{p. xii}

writings of priests and other devout Parsis of post-Muhammadan times, among the latest of which is one dated A.Y. 250 (A.D. 881). Any fragments of Pahlavi composition of later date than A.D. 1000, must be considered merely as modern imitations of a dead language, and cannot be quoted as authorities for the use of any particular Pahlavi words or construction.

With regard to the origin of the word Pahlavî, or language of Pahlav, many suggestions have been offered; but the most probable explanation[1] is that which connects it of with the Parthva, of the cuneiform inscriptions, the land the Parthians known to the Greeks and Romans, and of the Pahlavâs mentioned by Sanskrit writers; the change of Parthva into Pahlav being very similar to that of Av. Mithra into Pers. Mihr. No doubt the language of the Parthians themselves was not Pahlavi, but they were the actual rulers of Persia for some centuries at the time when the Pahlavi language was forming there; and, being formidable to their neighbours, it is not surprising that their name became identified with everything Persian, in the same way as the Roman name has been applied by the Persians, not only to the later Greek empire of Constantinople, but even to the earlier conqueror, Alexander the Great.

Strictly speaking, the mediæval Persian language is only called Pahlavi when it is written in one of the characters used before the invention of the modern Persian alphabet, and in the peculiarly enigmatical mode adopted in Pahlavi writings. Whenever it is transcribed, either in Avesta characters, or in those of the modern Persian alphabet, and freed from this peculiarity, it is called Pâzand.

The peculiar mode of writing Pahlavi, here alluded to long made the character of the language a standing puzzle for European scholars, and was first satisfactorily explained, by Professor Haug, of Munich, in his admirable Essay on the Pahlavi Language already cited.

Like the Assyrians of old, the Persians of Parthian times appear to have borrowed their writing from a foreign race.

[1. See Haug's Essay on the Pahlâvi language, Stuttgart, 1870; pp. 33-37.]

{p. xiii} But, whereas the Semitic Assyrians adopted a Turanian syllabary, these later Aryan Persians accepted a Semitic alphabet. Besides the alphabet, however, which they could use for spelling their own words, they also transferred a certain number of complete Semitic words to their writings, as representatives of the corresponding words in their own language. These Semitic representatives (the number of which might at any time be increased or diminished at the discretion of the writer) were probably never very numerous, and not more than four hundred of them are to be found in the Pahlavi, writings now extant; but, as they represent nearly all the commonest words in the language (excepting those specially relating to religious matters), they often constitute more than half the bulk of a Pahlavi text.

The use of such Semitic words, scattered about in Persian sentences, gives Pahlavi the motley appearance of a compound- language; more especially as Persian terminations are often added to the Semitic words. But there are good reasons for supposing that the language was never spoken as it was written. The spoken language appears to have been purely Persian; the Semitic words being merely-used, as written representatives, or logograms, of the Persian words which were spoken. Thus the Persians would write malkân malkâ, 'king of kings,' but they would read shâhân shâh. This is still the mode in which most Parsis read their Pahlavi literature; and it is only by assuming it to have been their universal practice, in former times, that we can account for the total and immediate disappearance of the Semitic portion of the Pahlavi, from their language, when the Persians adopted their modern alphabet. As the Semitic words were merely a Pahlavi mode of writing their Persian equivalents (just as 'viz.' is a mode of writing 'namely' in English), they disappeared with the Pahlavi writing, and the Persians began at once to write all their words, with their new alphabet just as they pronounced them.

In the meantime, the greater part of the nation had become Muhammadans, and a new influx of Semitic words commenced, but of a very different character. The Semitic

{p. xiv}

portion of the Pahlavi writing was nearly pure Chaldee, and was confined (as already stated) to the graphic representation of most of the simplest and commonest words unconnected with religion; but it seems to have formed no part of the spoken language, at all events in later times. Whereas the Semitic portion of modern Persian is borrowed from Arabic, and includes most words connected with religion, science, and literature; in fact, every class of words except that which was usually Semitic in Pahlavi writings; and these Arabic words form an essential part of the spoken language, being as indispensable to the modern Persian as words of Norman-French origin are to the English.

In Pahlavi writings, moreover, besides the four hundred Semitic logograms already mentioned, we also find about one hundred obsolete forms of Iranian words used as logograms; much in the same way as 'ye' may be used for 'the,' and 'Xmas' for 'Christmas' in English. The use of all these logograms was, however, quite optional, as their usual Persian equivalents might, be substituted for any of them at any time, according to each particular writer's taste and discretion. But whenever they are employed they form. what is called the Huzvâris portion of the Pahlavi; while the other words, intended to be pronounced as they are spelt, form the Pâzand portion.

Many attempts have been made to explain the word Huzvâris, but it cannot be said that any satisfactory etymology has yet been proposed. Like the word Pahlavî it seems hardly to occur in any old Pahlavi text, but only in colophons, chapter-headings, and similar notes of modern writers; it seems, therefore, more reasonable to trace it to modern Persian than direct to any more ancient source. Its Pahlavi form, hûzvâris or aûzvârisn, appears to represent the modern Persian uzvâris, which is rarely used; the usual Persian form of the word being zuvâris. Now zuvâris is precisely the form of an abstract noun derived from the crude form of a verb zuvârîdan, which has been admitted into some Persian dictionaries on the authority of Golius[1].

[1. See Castelli Lexicon Heptaglotton, Pars altera, London, 1669.]

{p. xv}

with the meaning 'to grow old, to become thread-bare.' If such a verb really exists in Persian, although its meaning may imply 'decrepitude or decay' rather than 'antiquity or obsoleteness,' yet its abstract noun would not be altogether inapplicable to the logograms used in Pahlavi, which are, in fact, last remnants of older writings.

The word Pâzand is probably derived from Av. paitizanti, with the meaning 're-explanation,' that is, a further interpretation of the Pahlavi Zand in the Persian vernacular. This term is applied not only to the purely Persian words in Pahlavi texts, but also (as already noticed) to transliterations of the said texts, either in Avesta or modern Persian characters, in which all the Huzvâris words are replaced by their Pâzand equivalents. These transliterations form what are called Pâzand texts; they retain the exact idiom and construction of the Pahlavi original, and represent the mode in which it was read. It may be remarked, however, that all such Pâzand texts, as have been examined, seem to have been written in India, so that they may be suspected of representing some corrupt Gugarâti pronunciation of Persian, rather than the peculiar orthography of any period of the Persian language.

This theory of the origin and development of Pahlavi writing could hardly be upheld, unless we could trace the same artificial mixture of Huzvâris and Pâzand in all accessible Pahlavi records, from their earliest appearance to the present time. This we are able to do, even in the scanty materials afforded by the legends on the provincial Persian coins of the third century B.C. and second century A.D. already mentioned. But we can trace it with greater certainty not only in the coin legends, but also in the rock inscriptions of the earlier Sasanian kings (A.D. 226-388), in the latest of which we find the written language differing very slightly from that contained in the manuscripts pre served by the Parsis of the present, day, although the characters differ very much in form. And, finally, in the legends on the coins of the later Sasanian kings (A.D. 388-651) and on seals of their times, we find even this difference in. the shapes of the letters disappearing by degrees. In

{p. xvi}

fact, all the materials at our disposal tend to show that Huzvâris has been an essential constituent of all Pahlavi writings from the time of Alexander's successors to that of the disuse of Pahlavi characters; but we have no reason to suppose that the spoken language of the great mass of the Persian. people ever contained the Semitic words which they thus used as Huzvâris in their writings.

Although the use of Huzvâris, until explained recently, rendered the nature of the Pahlavi language very obscure, it added very little to the difficulty of understanding the Pahlavi texts, because the meaning of nearly every Huzvâris logogram was well known; being recorded in an old glossary preserved by the Parsis, in which every logogram is explained by its proper Pâzand equivalent. The extant copies of this old glossary generally contain the Huzvâris and Pâzand words written in the Pahlavi character, together with their traditional pronunciation, either in Avesta or modern Persian letters; there is, therefore, no particular difficulty in reading or translating the Huzvâris portion of a Pahlavi text, although doubts may often be entertained as to the accuracy of the traditional pronunciation.

The real difficulty of reading Pahlavi texts lies in the Pâzand portion (so far as it may be unexplained by existing vocabularies), and is chiefly occasioned by the ambiguity of some of the Pahlavi letters. The alphabet used in Pahlavi books contains only fourteen distinct letters, so that some letters represent several different sounds; and this ambiguity is increased by the letters being joined together, when a compound of two letters is sometimes exactly like some other single letter. The complication arising from these ambiguities may be understood from the following list of the sounds, simple and compound, represented by each of the fourteen letters of the Pahlavi alphabet respectively:--

### a, â, h, kh. ### b. ### p, f, ### t, d. ### k, g, z, v. ### r, l. ### z. ### s, yî, yad, yag, yag, dî, dad, dag, dag, gî, gad, gag, gag, gî, gad, gag, gag. ### sh, s, yâ, yah, yakh, îh, îkh,

{p. xvii}

dâ, dah, dakh, gâ, gah, gakh, gâ, gah, gakh. ### gh. ### k. ### m. ### n. v, w, û, ô, r, 1. ### y, î, ê, d, g, g.

From this list it is easy to see the confusion produced by the letter ### s being exactly like the letter ### y doubled, and by the letter ### sh being identical with a compound of ### y and ### â; and there are, in fact, some compounds of two letters which have from ten to fifteen sounds in common use, besides others which might possibly occur. If it be further considered that there are only three letters (which are also consonants, as in most Semitic languages) to represent five long vowels, and that there are probably five short vowels to be understood, the difficulty of reading Pahlavi correctly may be readily imagined.

When Pahlavi writing was in common use this difficulty was probably no more felt by the Persians, than the complexity of Chinese characters is felt as an evil by a Chinese mandarin, or the corrupt system of English orthography by an educated Englishman. It is only the foreigner, or learner, who fully appreciates the difficulty of understanding such cumbrous systems of writing.

With regard, however, to their Huzvâris logograms the Persians seem to have experienced more difficulty. As the actual sounds of these Semitic words were rarely pronounced, in consequence of their Pâzand equivalents being substituted in reading, there must have been some risk of their true pronunciation being forgotten. That this risk was understood by the Persians, or Parsis, is proved by the existence of the Huzvâris-Pâzand glossary already described, which was evidently compiled as a record both of the pronunciation and meaning of the Huzvâris logograms. But its compilation does nut appear to have been undertaken until the true pronunciation of some of these logograms had been already lost. Thus, although the traditional readings of most of the Semitic portion of the Huzvâris can be readily traced to well known Chaldee words, there are yet many other such readings which are altogether inexplicable as Semitic

{p. xviii}

words. In most such cases, however, European scholars .have found that the Huzvâris word can be easily read in some other way which at once connects it with some ordinary Chaldee equivalent. It may, therefore, be reasonably assumed that the compilers of the glossary had in some instances lost the correct pronunciation of these old Semitic words, and that, in such cases, they adopted (as a Parsi would probably do at the present day) the most obvious reading of the letters before them, which thenceforth became an artificial word to, be handed down to posterity, by successive generations of writers, with all the authority of old tradition.

In the same manner the artificial pronunciation of the Iranian portion of the Huzvâris may be explained. The compilers of the glossary found a number of words in the Pahlavi texts, which were written in some obsolete or contracted manner; they knew the meanings of these words, but could not trace the true readings in the altered letters; they, therefore, adopted the most obvious readings of the written characters, and thus produced another series of artificial words, such as anhômâ for aûharmazd, vahân for yazdân, madônad for maînôk, shatan for shatrô, &c.

Naturally enough the Parsis are loth to admit the possibility of any error in their traditional readings of Huzvâris, and very few of them have yet adopted the views of European scholars further than to admit that they are ingenious hypotheses, which still require satisfactory proof. They are quite right in demanding such proof, and they may reasonably argue that the conflicting opinions of various European scholars do not tend to increase the certainty of their explanations. But, on the other hand, they are bound to examine all proofs that may be offered, and to consider the arguments of scholars, before utterly rejecting them in favour of their own preconceived notions of traditional authority.

Fortunately, we possess some means of ascertaining the ancient pronunciation of a few Huzvâris words, independent of the opinions of comparative philologists, in the inscriptions

{p. xix}

already mentioned as having been engraved on rocks, and impressed on coins, by the earlier kings of the Sasanian dynasty in Persia. The earliest of these rock inscriptions records the name and titles of Artakhshatar son[1] of Pâpak, the first Sasanian monarch (A. D. 226-240); it is engraved in Greek and two kinds of old Pahlavi characters, which have been called Chaldæo-Pahlavi and Sasanian-Pahlavi, because the one bears more resemblance to Chaldee, both in its letters and the language they express, and the other is more frequently used by the subsequent Sasanian monarchs. A similar tri-lingual inscription records the names and titles of his son and successor Shahpûhar I (A.D. 240-271), who has also left a long bi-lingual inscription, in Chaldæo and Sasanian-Pahlavi, in a cave near Persepolis. Another long bi-lingual inscription, fragments of which have been found on stones among the ruins of Pâî Kûlî, is attributed to his early successors, who have also left us several uni-lingual inscriptions in Sasanian-Pahlavi, two of which are of great length, but none later than the end of the fourth century.

The language of the earlier of these inscriptions differs from that of the manuscripts preserved by the Parsis, chiefly in the use of several Semitic words unknown to the manuscript Huzvâris, the non-existence of Iranian Huzvâris (which is evidently a growth of later times), and the less frequent use of Persian terminations affixed to Semitic words. These differences, however, are hardly greater than those which distinguish the English of Chaucer from that of our own day. Moreover, they gradually disappear in process of time, as we find the later inscriptions of the fourth century approaching much closer, in language, to the manuscripts.

As the alphabets of these inscriptions are less imperfect and ambiguous than that of the Pahlavi manuscripts, they render the pronunciation of many words much more certain. They consist of eighteen letters, having the following sounds:--

[1. So stated in the inscription, but Pahlavi MSS. call him the son of Pâpak's daughter and of Sâsân (see Bund. XXXI. 30).]

{p. xx}

1. a, â. 2. b. 3. p, f. 4. t, d, 5. k, g, ###. 6. kh, h. 7. d. 8. r, v, w, û, ô. 9. z. 10. s. 11. sh, s. 12. k. 13. g. 14. l, r. 15. m. 16. n. 17. y, î, ê. 18. doubtful, being equivalent to Chaldee ###, and to Pahl. MS. -man[1].

Comparing this list of sounds with that of the sounds of. the manuscript alphabet (pp. xvi, xvii) it is evident that the inscriptions must afford a means of distinguishing â from kh, s from any binary compound of y, d, g, or g, sh from any compound of y, d, g, or g with â, h, or kh, n from v, r, or l, and y, d, g from each other; all which letters and compounds are left in doubt by the manuscript alphabet. Unfortunately we do not possess trustworthy copies of some of the inscriptions which are evidently the most important from a linguistic point of view[2] but such copies as have been obtained supply corrections of traditional misreadings of about twenty-five Huzvâris logograms, and at the same time they confirm the correctness of three traditional readings which have been called in question by most European scholars. So far, therefore, the inscriptions would teach the Parsis that the decisions of comparative philologists are not likely to be right more than seven times out of eight, even when they are tolerably unanimous.

The Chaldæo-Pahlavi character appears to have soon

[1. Whether the sound of this letter can ever be satisfactorily settled remains doubtful. Levy, in his Beiträge, cited on p. xi, considers it to be the Semitic ###, on palæographical grounds; but there are serious objections to all the identifications that have been proposed.

2. The Sasanian inscriptions, of which new and correct copies are most urgently wanted, are:--1. An inscription of thirty-one lines high up in the left side-compartment (behind the king) of the centre bas-relief of Naqs-i Ragab, near Persepolis. 2. Two inscriptions, of eleven and twelve lines respectively, on the stones of the edifice near the south-west corner of the great platform at Persepolis, south of the Hall of Columns (see Ouseley's Travels in Persia, vol. ii. p. 237 and plate 42). 3. All the fragments of the Pâî Kûlî inscription, of which probably not more than half have yet been copied.

Of the very long inscription behind the king's horse in the bas-relief of Naqs-i Rustam, containing more than seventy lines very much damaged, a copy taken by Westergaard in 1843 with his usual accuracy, probably gives nearly all that is legible. And of the Hâgîâbâd and shorter inscriptions, little or nothing remains doubtful.]

{p. xxi}

gone out of use, after the establishment of the Sasanian dynasty, as the latest known inscription, in which it occurs, is that of Pâî Kûlî, which contains the name of Aûharmazd I (A.D. 271-272); while the long inscriptions of Naqs-i Ragab and Naqs-i Rustam, which contain the name of Varahrân II (A.D. 275-283), are engraved only in Sasanian-Pahlavi. From these facts it seems probable that Chaldæo-Pahlavi went out of use about A.D. 275. The Sasanian characters continue to appear, with very little alteration, upon the coins until the end of the fifth century, when most of them begin to assume the cursive form of the manuscript Pahlavi, which appears to have altered very slightly since the eighth century.

The oldest Pahlavi manuscript known to be extant, consists of several fragments of papyrus recently found in a grave in the Fayûm district in Egypt, and now in the Royal Museum at Berlin; it is supposed to have been written in the eighth century. Next to this, after a long interval, come four manuscripts written on Indian paper, all by the same hand, in A.D. 1323-1324; they are two copies of the Yasna and two of the Vendidad, containing the Avesta with its Zand, or Pahlavi translation and commentary; two of these old MSS. are now preserved in Kopenhagen, one in London, and one in Bombay. Next to these in age are two MSS. of miscellaneous Pahlavi texts, written probably about fifty years later; one of these is now in Kopenhagen and one in Bombay. Another MS. of nearly the same age is also a miscellaneous collection of Pahlavi texts, written in A. D. 1397, and now in Munich; where there is also one of the oldest Pâzand-Sanskrit MSS., a copy of the Ardâ-Vîrâf-nâmak, written in A.D. 1410. Another Pâzand-Sanskrit MS., a copy of the Khurdah Avesta, of about the same age, exists in Bombay. Pahlavi and Pâzand manuscripts of the sixteenth century are rather more numerous.

Pahlavi literature reached the zenith of its prosperity about thirteen centuries ago, when it included the whole literature of Persia. Seventy years later its destruction commenced with the fall of the Sasanian dynasty (A.D.

{p. xxii}

636--651); and the subsequent adoption of the modern Persian alphabet gave it its death-blow. The last remnants of Pahlavi writings are now contained in the few manuscripts, still preserved by the Parsis in Western India, and their almost-extinct brethren in Persia. A careful estimate of the length of these remnants, so far as they are known to, Europeans, has shown that the total extent of existing, Pahlavi literature is about thirty-six times that of the Bundahis, as translated in this volume. One-fifth of this, literature consists of translations accompanying Avesta texts, and the remaining four-fifths are purely Pahlavi works which are nearly all connected with religion. How much of this literature may have descended from Sasanian times can hardly be ascertained as yet; in fact, it is only very recently that any trustworthy data, for determining the age of a few Pahlavi writings, have been discovered, as will be explained hereafter, when considering the age of the Bundahis.


The term Bundahis, 'creation of the beginning,' or 'original creation,' is applied by the Parsis to a Pahlavi work[1] which, in its present state, appears to be a collection of fragments relating to the cosmogony, mythology, and legendary history taught by Mazdayasnian tradition, but which cannot be considered, in any way, a complete treatise on these subjects. This term is applicable enough to much of the earlier part of the work, which treats of the progressive development of creation under good and evil influences; but it is probably not the original name of the book. Its adoption was no doubt partly owing to the occurrence of the word bûn-dahisn, or bûn-dahisnîh, twice in the first sentence, and partly to its appropriateness to the subject. But the same sentence seems to inform

[1. When this work forms part of a collection of Pahlavi texts, the whole manuscript is sometimes called 'the great Bundahis.' There also exists a Saddar Bundahis, or Bundahis of a hundred chapters, 'which is a comparatively modern compilation, detailing the chief customs and religious laws of the Parsis; in a hundred sections.]

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us that the actual name of the treatise was Zand-âkâs, 'knowing the tradition.'

The work commences by describing the state of things in the beginning; the good spirit being in endless light and omniscient, and the evil spirit in endless darkness and with limited knowledge. Both produced their own creatures, which remained apart, in a spiritual or ideal state, for three thousand years, after which the evil spirit began his opposition to the good creation under an agreement that his power was not to last more than nine thousand years, of which only the middle three thousand were to see him successful. By uttering a sacred formula the good spirit throws the evil one into a state of confusion for a second three thousand years, while he produces the archangels and the material creation, including the suit, moon, and stars. At the end of that period the evil spirit, encouraged by the demons he had produced, once more rushes upon the good creation, to destroy it. The demons carry on conflicts with each of the six classes of creation, namely, the sky, water, earth, plants, animals represented by the primeval ox, and mankind represented by Gâyômard: producing little effect but movement in the sky, saltness in the water, mountains in the earth, withering in plants, and death to the primeval ox, and also to Gâyômard after an interval.

Then follows a series of chapters describing the seven regions of the earth, its mountains and seas, the five classes of animals, the origin of mankind, generation, the five kinds of fire and three sacred fires, the white Hôm tree and the tree of many seeds, the three-legged ass, the ox Hadhayôs, the bird Kâmrôs, and other birds and animals opposed to the evil creation, the rivers of the world, the seventeen species of liquids, the lakes, the origin of the ape and bear, the chiefs of the several kinds of creatures and creations, the calendar, lineal measures, trees and plants, the characteristics of various demons, the spiritual chiefs of the various regions of the earth, and the resurrection and future existence; all which descriptions are given on the authority of the Dîn, which may have been some particular

{p. xxiv}

book, or revelation generally. The concluding chapters give the genealogies of the legendary Persian kings and heroes, and of Zaratûst and certain priests, together with an epitome of Persian chronology from the creation to the Muhammadan conquest.

As the work now stands it is evidently of a fragmentary character, bearing unmistakable marks both of omissions and dislocations; and the extant manuscripts, as will be seen, differ among themselves both as to the extent and arrangement of the text. Many passages have the appearance of being translations from an Avesta original, and it is very probable that we have in the Bundahis either a translation, or an epitome, of the Dâmidâd Nask, one of the twenty-one books into which the whole of the Zoroastrian scriptures are said to have been divided before the time of Darius. This may be guessed from a comparison of the contents of the Bundahis with those of the Dâmdâd Nask, which are detailed in the Dînî-vagarkard as follows[1]:--'It contained an explanation of the spiritual existence and heaven, good and evil, the material existence of this world, the sky and the earth, and everything which Aûharmazd produced in water, fire, and vegetation, men and quadrupeds, reptiles and birds, and everything which is produced from the waters, and the characteristics of all things. Secondly, the production of the resurrection and future existence; the concourse and separation at the Kinvad bridge; on the reward of the meritorious and the punishment of sinners in the future existence, and such-like explanations. Moreover, the Dâmdâd Nask is twice quoted as an authority in the Selections of Zâd-sparam (IX, i, 16), when treating of animals, in nearly the same words as those used in the Bundahis.

The first manuscript of the Bundahis seen in Europe was brought from Surat by Anquetil Duperron in 1761, and he published a French translation of it in his great work on the Zend-Avesta in 1771[2]. This manuscript,

[1. See Haug's Essays, &c., second edition, pp. 127, 128.

2. Zend-Avesta, ouvrage de Zoroastre, &c., par Anquetil Duperron; Paris, 1771. Tome seconde, pp. 343-422, Boun-dehesch.]

{p. xxv}

which is now in the National Library at Paris, was a modern copy, written A.D. 1734, and contained a miscellaneous collection of Pahlavi writings besides the Bundahis. And Anquetil's translation, though carefully prepared in accordance with the information he had obtained from his Parsi instructor, is very far from giving the correct meaning of the original text in many places.


In 1820 the very old codex from which Anquetil's MS. had been copied was had been brought to Europe, from Bombay, by the Danish scholar Rask, and was subsequently deposited in the University Library at Kopenhagen. This most important codex, which will be more particularly described under the appellation of K20, appears to have been written during the latter half of the fourteenth century; and a facsimile of the Pahlavi text of the Bundahis, which it contains, was very carefully traced from it, lithographed, and published by Westergaard in 1850.[1]

In a review of this lithographed edition of the Pahlavi text, published in the Göttinger Gelehrte Anzeigen in 18542, Haug gave a German translation of the first three chapters of the Bundahis. And Spiegel, in his Traditional Literature of the Parsis[3], published in 1860 a German translation of many passages in the Bundahis, together with a transcript of the Pahlavi text of Chaps. I, II, III, and XXX in Hebrew characters. But the complete German translation of the Bundahis by Windischmann, with his commentary on its contents, published in his Zoroastrian Studies 4 in 1863, was probably toe most important step in advance since the time of Anquetil, and the utmost

[1. Bundehesh, Liber Pehlvicus. E vetustissimo codice Hayniensi descripsit, duas inscriptiones regis Saporis Primi adjecit, N. L. Westergaard; Havniæ, 1851.

2. Ueber die Pehlewi-Sprache und den Bundehesh, von Martin Haug; Göttingen, 1854.

3. Die Traditionelle Literatur der Parsen in ihrem Zusammenhange mit den angränzenden Literaturen, dargestellt von Fr. Spiegel; Wien, 1860.

4. Zoroastriche Studien. Abhandlungen zur Mythologie und Sagengeschichte des alten Iran, von Fr. Windischmann (nach dem Tode des Verfassers herausgegeben von Fr. Spiegel); Berlin, 1863.]

{p. xxvi}

that could be done on the authority of a single MS. which is far from perfect.

In 1866 another very old codex, containing the Pahlavi texts of the Bundahis and other works, was brought to-, Europe by Haug, to whom it had been presented at Surat in 1864. It is now in the State Library at Munich, and will be more minutely described under the appellation of M6. In this codex the Bundahis is arranged in a different order from -that in K20, and Chaps. XXVIII, XXIX, and XXXI-XXXIII are omitted.

A second complete German translation of the Bundahis, with a lithographed copy of the Pahlavi text, a transliteration of the text in modern Persian characters, and a glossary of all the words it contains, was published by Justi in 18681.[1] Its author, having had access to other MSS. (descended from M6) at London and Oxford, was. able to rectify many of the deficiencies in Windischmann's translation; but, otherwise, he made but little progress in elucidating difficult passages.

Other European writers have published the result of their studies of particular parts of the Bundahis, but it does not appear that any of them have attempted a continuous translation of several chapters.

Whether the existence of previous translations be more of an assistance than a hindrance in preparing a new one, may well be a matter of doubt. Previous translations may prevent oversights, and in difficult passages it is useful to see how others have floundered through the mire; but, on the other hand, they occasion much loss of time, by the necessity of examining many of their dubious renderings before finally fixing upon others that seem more satisfactory. The object of the present translation is to give the meaning of the original text as literally as possible, and with a minimum of extra words; the different renderings of other translators being very rarely noticed, unless there be some probability of their being of service

[1. Der Bundehesh, zum ersten Male herausgegeben, transcribirt, übersetzt, und mit Glossar versehen, von Ferdinand Justi; Leipzig; 1868.]

{p. xxvii}

to the reader. Some doubtful words and passages still defy all attempts at satisfactory solution, but of these the reader is warned; and, no doubt, a few oversights and mistakes will be discovered.

With regard to the original text, we have to recover it from four manuscripts which are, more or less, independent authorities, and may be styled K20, K20b, M6, and TD. The first three of these have evidently descended, either directly or through one or more intermediate copies, from the same original; but the source of TD, so far as it can be ascertained, seems to have been far removed from, that of the others. All the other MSS. of the Bundahis, which have been examined, whether Pahlavi or Pâzand, are descended either from K20 or M6, and are, therefore, of no independent authority.

K20 is the very old codex already mentioned as having been brought from Bombay by Rask in 1820, and is now No. 20 of the collection of Avesta and Pahlavi MSS. in the University Library at Kopenhagen. It consists now of 173 folios of very old and much-worn Indian paper of large octavo size, but five other folios are certainly missing, besides an uncertain number lost from the end of the volume. This MS. contains twenty Pahlavi texts, written twenty lines to the page, and some of them, accompanied by Avesta; the Bundahis is the ninth of these texts, and occupies fols. 88-129, of which fol. 121 is missing. Three of the texts, occurring before the Bundahis, have dated colophons, but the dates are A.Y. 690, 720, and 700, all within 36 folios; it is, therefore, evident that these dates have been copied from older MSS.; but at the same time the appearance of the paper indicates that the actual date of the MS. cannot be much later than A.Y. 720 (A.D. 1351), and there are reasons for believing that it was written several years before A.Y. 766 (A.D. 1397), as will be explained in the description of M6. Owing to its age and comparative completeness this MS. of the Bundahis is certainly the most important one extant, although comparison with other MSS. proves that its writer was rather careless, and frequently omitted words and phrases. The

{p. xxviii}

loss of fol. 121, though it has hitherto left an inconvenient gap in the text (not filled up by other MSS.), is more than compensated by the three extra chapters which this MS. and its copies have hitherto alone supplied. The text on the lost folio was supposed by Anquetil to have contained a whole chapter besides portions of the two adjacent ones; this is now known to be a mistake, Anquetil's Chap. XXVIII being quite imaginary; the end of Chap. XXVII has long been supplied from other MSS., but the beginning of the next chapter has hitherto been missing.

Only two copies of K20 appear to be known to Europeans; the best of these is the copy brought from Surat by Anquetil, No. 7 of his collection of manuscripts, now in the National Library at Paris; this was written in A. D. 1734, when K20 appears to have been nearly in its present imperfect state, though it may have had some 15 folios more at the end. This copy seems to have been carefully written; but the same cannot be said of the other copy, No. 21 in the University Library at Kopenhagen, which is full of blunders, both of commission and omission, and can hardly have been written by so good a Pahlavi scholar as Dastûr Dârâb, Anquetil's instructor, although attributed to him.

K20b consists of nineteen loose folios[1], found by Westergaard among some miscellaneous fragments in the collection of Avesta and Pahlavi MSS. in the University Library at Kopenhagen, and now forming No. 20b in that collection, The first two folios are lost, but the third folio commences with the Pahlavi equivalent of the words 'knew that Aharman exists' (Bund. Chap. 1, 8), and the text continues to the end of Chap. XI, i, where it leaps at once (in the middle of a line on the fifteenth folio) to Chap. XXX, 15, 'one brother who is righteous,' whence the text continues to the end of Chap. XXXI, 15, which is followed by Chaps. XXXII, XXXIV, as in K20. This

[1. I am indebted to the late Professor N. L. Westergaard for all information about this MS., and also for a tracing of the Pahlavi text of so much of Chap. XXXI as is contained in it.]

{p. xxix}

MS. is not very old, and contains merely a fragment of the text; but its value consists in its not being a descendant of either K20 or M6, as it clearly represents a third line of descent from their common original. It agrees with K20 in the general arrangement of its chapters, so far as they go, and also in containing Chap. XXXI; but it differs from it in some of the details of that chapter, and agrees with M6 in some verbal peculiarities elsewhere; it has not, however, been collated in any other chapter. The omission of nearly twenty chapters, in the centre of the work, indicates that some one of the MSS. from which it is descended, had lost many of its central folios before it was copied, and that the copyist did not notice the deficiency; such unnoticed omissions frequently occur in Pahlavi manuscripts.

M6 is the very old codex brought to Europe by Haug in 1866, and now No. 6 of the Haug collection in the State Library at Munich. It consists of 240 folios of very old, but well-preserved, Indian paper of large octavo size (to which thirteen others, of rather later date, have been prefixed) bound in two volumes. This MS. contains nineteen Pahlavi texts, written from seventeen to twenty-two lines to the page, and some of them accompanied by Avesta; eleven of these texts are also found in K20, and the Bundahis is the fourteenth of the nineteen, occupying fols. 53-99 of the second volume. Two of the other texts have dated colophons, the dates being fifty days apart in A.Y. 766 (A.D. 1397), and as there are 150 folios between the two dates there is every probability that they are the actual dates on which the two colophons were written. The arrangement of the Bundahis in this MS. is different from that in K20, giving the chapters in the following order:--Chaps. XV-XXIII, I-XIV, XXIV-XXVII, XXX, XXXII, XXXIV, and omitting Chaps. XXVIII, XXIX, and XXXI. These omissions and the misplacement of Chaps. I-XIV render it probable that the MS., from which the Bundahis in M6 was copied, was already in a state of decay; and this supposition is confirmed by upwards of fifty peculiar mistakes, scattered over most parts of the

{p. xxx}

text in M6, which are evidently due to the illegibility of the original from which it was copied, or to its illegible words having been touched up by an ignorant writer, instances of which are not uncommon in old Pahlavi MSS. Eliminating these errors, for which the writer of M6 cannot be held responsible, he seems to have been a more careful copyist than the writer of K20, and supplies several words and phrases omitted by the latter. The close correspondence of K20 and M6 in most other places, renders it probable that they were copied from the same original, in which case K20 must have been written several years earlier than M6, before the original MS. became decayed and difficult to read. It is possible, however, that K20 was copied from an early copy of the original of M6; in which case the date of K20, is more uncertain, and may even be later than that of M6.

Several MSS. of the Bundahis descended from M6 are in existence. One is in the MS. No. 121 of the Ouseley collection in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, and contains the chapters in the following order:--Chaps. XV-XXIII, I-VII, 17 (to 'Arag river'), XII-XIV, XXIV-XXVII, XXX, VII, 12-XI; followed by Sls. Chap. XX, 4-17, also derived from M6. Another is in the library of Dastûr Jâmâspji Minochiharji at Bombay, and contains the chapters also in a dislocated state (due to the misplacement of folios in some former MS.) as follows:--Chaps. XV-XXIII, I-XI, 5 (to 'and the evil spirit'), XII, 2 (from 'Sikidâv')--XII, 2 (first word), XI, 5 (from 'produced most for Khvanîras')--XII, 2 (to 'and Kôndras, Mount'),--XXX, 32 (from 'the renovation arises in')--XXX, 33, XXXII, XXXIV, Sls. Chap. XVIII, Bund. Chaps. XII, 12 (from 'Aîrak')--XIV, XXIV-XXVII, XXX. A third is in the library of Dastûr Nôshirvânji Jâmâspji at Poona, and contains the text in the same order as M6. A fragment of the Pahlavi text of the Bundahis, also descended from M6, occupies eight folios in the Additional Oriental MS. No. 22,378 in the Library of the British Museum; it contains Chaps. XVIII, XIX, 17, and XX, 1-2 (to 'one from the other').

There are also several Pâzand manuscripts of the Bundahis,

{p. xxxi}

written in Avesta characters, and likewise derived from M6. One of the best of these is No. 22 of the collection of Avesta and Pahlavi MSS. in the India Office Library at London; it is old, and has the date A.Y. 936 (A.D. 1567) in a Pahlavi colophon on fol. III, but this may have been copied from an older MS.; its contents are arranged as follows:--Chaps. XVIII-XXIII, I-XIV, XXIV-XXVII, XXX, XXXII, XXXIV, followed by several short Pâzand texts, only part of which are derived from M6, and the last of them being left incomplete by the loss of the folios which originally formed the end of the volume; instead of these lost folios others, containing Chaps. XV-XVII, have been added and bound up with the rest. Another MS., No. 7 in the same collection, which is dated A.Y. 1174 (A.D. 1805), is a modern copy derived from No. 22 through one or more intervening MSS.[1]; it contains precisely the same text, but with many variations in orthography, indicative of the very uncertain character of Pâzand spelling. Two fragments of the Pâzand text are also contained in the MSS. No. 121 at Oxford, already mentioned; they consist of Chaps. V, 3-7 (to 'would have known the secret') and XXV, 18-22. Another fragment, evidently copied from an old MS., is found on fols. 34, 35 of the Rivâyat MS. No. 8 of the collection in the India Office Library; it consists of Chap. XVIII, 1-8.

The Pâzand text of the Bundahis, derived from M6, is also written in Persian characters in M7 (No. 7 of the Haug collection at Munich), dated A.Y. 1178 (A.D. 1809). It is interlined by Persian glosses, word for word, and consists of Chaps. XVIII-XXIII, I-XIV, XXIV-XXVII, and XXX on fols. 81-119, with Chaps. XV-XVII on fols. 120-126, a repetition of Chap. XV and part of XVI on fols. 223-227, and Chap. XXXII on fol. 232.

Thus far, it will be noticed, we have two good independent authorities, K20 and M6, for ascertaining the text of the Bundahis in the fourteenth century, so far as Chaps. I-

[1. This is proved by an omission in fol. 40, which clearly indicates the loss of a folio in an intermediate MS.]

{p. xxxii}

XXVII, XXX, XXXII, and XXXIV are concerned; and we have also, in K20b, a second authority for so much of Chap. XXXI as occurs in K20; but for Chaps. XXVIII and XXIX we have nothing but K20 to rely on, and part of Chap. XXVIII is lost in that manuscript. Such was the unsatisfactory state of that part of the text until Dec. 1877, when information about the MS. TD was received, followed by further details and a copy of Chaps. XXVIII, XXIX, and XXXI-XXXIII in Oct. 18781.

TD is a manuscript of the Bundahis which contains a much more extensive text than the MSS. already described, but whether it be an extension of the hitherto-received text, or the received text be an abridgement of this longer one, is likely to be a matter of dispute among Pahlavi scholars until the whole of the new text has been thoroughly examined. At any rate, the contents of this MS., combined with those of some MSS. of the Dâdistân-i Dînîk, afford a means of fixing the date of this recension of the Bundahis, as will be seen hereafter.

This MS. belongs to a young Mobad named Tehmuras Dinshawji Anklesaria in Bombay, and was brought from Persia a few years ago by a Mobad named Khodabakhsh Farod Abadan. It occupies the first 103 folios of the volume containing it, and is followed by 112 more folios containing the Nîrangistân. The first original folio, which contained the text as far as Chap. I, 5 (to 'endless light'), has been lost and replaced by another (which, however, is now old) containing some introductory sentences, besides the missing text. The last original folio of the Bundahis, containing the last five lines of the last chapter, has also been lost and replaced by another modern folio, which contains the missing text followed by two colophons, both expressing approval of the text, and asserting that the MS. was written by Gôpatshah Rûstâm Bôndâr. The first of these colophons

[1. I am indebted to Mr. Khurshedji Rustamji Cama, of Bombay (who is well known for the interest he takes in all matters relating to the ancient customs and history of his fellow-countrymen), for obtaining this information, and to the owner of the MS. for his liberality in supplying me with all the details and extracts mentioned in the text.]

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is undated, but gives the testimony of Dastûr Rûstâm[1] Gûstâsp Ardashîr, who is known to have written another MS. dated A.Y. 1068 (A.D. 1699). The second colophon is by Dastûr Jamshêd Jâmâsp Hakim, and is dated A.Y. 1113 (A.D. 1743), which was probably the date when this last folio was supplied to complete the old defective MS.

With regard to the age of the older part of. this MS. we can arrive at an approximation in the following manner:--A valuable MS. of the Dâdistân-i Dînîk, which also belongs to Tehmuras Dinshawji, was written (according to a colophon which it contains) by Gôpatshah Rûstôm[2] Bândâr Malkâ-mardân in the land of Kirmân, who was evidently the same person as the writer of TD. Another MS. of the Dâdistân-i Dînîk was written by Marzapân Frêdûn Vâhrôm Rûstâm Bôndâr Malkâ-mardân Dîn-ayâr, also in the land of Kirmân, in A.Y. 941 (A.D. 1572). Comparing these two genealogies together it seems evident that Gôpatshah was a brother of Vâhrôm, the grandfather of Marzapân, and, therefore, a grand-uncle of Marzapân himself. Allowing for these two generations, it is probable that Gôpatshah wrote TD about A.Y. 900 (say A. D. 1530); although instances have occurred in which a son has written a MS. at an earlier date than that of one written by his father.

The introductory sentences on the first restored folio are evidently a modern addition to the text, after it had acquired the name of Bundahis; but they seem to have been copied from some other MS., as the copyist appears to have hardly understood them, having written them continuously with the beginning of the text, without break or stop. The spelling is modern, but that may be due to the copyist; and the language is difficult, but may be translated as follows[3]:--

'The propitiation of the creator Aûharmazd, the radiant,

[1. This Dastûr is said to have sprung from the laity, and not from a priestly family.

2. The vowels â and ô (or û) often interchange in Pahlavi MSS. from Persia, probably owing to peculiarities of dialect, and the very broad sound of Persian â, like English a in call.

3. English words in italics are additions to complete the sense.]

{p. xxxiv}

glorious, omniscient, wise, powerful, and supreme, by what is well-thought, well-said, and well-done in thought, word, and deed, and the good augury of all the celestial angels and terrestrial angels upon the virtuous creation, I beseech.

'Written at the second fortunate conjunction (akhtar) in the high-priestship (dastûrîh) of the God-devoted, all-sagacious cultivator of righteousness, the lover of good works who is God-discerning, spirit-surveying, and approved by the good, the high-priest of the good religion of the Mazdayasnians, the glorified[1] Spendyâd son of Mâh-vindâd, son of Rûstâm, son of Shatrôyâr.

'The writing[2] of the Bûndahis was set going by the coming of the Arabs to the country of Iran, whose heterodoxy (dûs-dînîh) and ignorance have arisen from not understanding the mysteries of Kayân[3] orthodoxy (hû-dînôîh) and of those revered by the upholders of the religion. From their deep seats it draws the purport of benedictions, and from dubious thinking of actions it draws words of true meaning, the disclosure of which is entertaining knowledge.

'On account of evil times, even he of the undecayed family of the Kayâns and the Kayân upholders of the religion are mingled with the obedient and just of those heterodox; and by the upper class the words of the orthodox, uttered in assembled worship, are considered as filthy vice. He also whose wish was to learn propriety (varâg) through this treatise (farhâng), might provide it for himself, from various places, by trouble and day and night painstaking, but was not able.'

The text of Chap. I then commences (without any intermediate stop) with the words zak zand-âkâsih, 'that knowledge of tradition.' As the whole text of the Bundahis occupies about 203 pages in TD, and each page contains

[1. Literally, 'immortal-soulled,' a term implying generally that the person is dead; but it seems to have been applied to King Khûsrô I (Nôshirvân) during his lifetime. The time when this priest lived has yet to be discovered.

2. Reading zektîbûn-i, equivalent to Pâz. nivîs-i; the MS. has zak tîbnâ.

3. The hero tribe or princely race of the Kayânian dynasty, from which later Persian rulers have fancied themselves descended.]

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seventeen lines rather longer than those in K20, it is evident that the text in TD must be more than twice the length of that in K20, which occupied originally about eighty-three pages of twenty lines each. This additional text consists not only of additional matter in many of the chapters, but also of extra chapters, which give the work a more complete appearance than it presents in the manuscripts hitherto known. The whole number of chapters in TD appear to be forty-two, the general character of the contents of which may be gathered from the following list of the headings of each chapter, with the space it occupies in TD, and a reference to the corresponding chapter of the translation in this volume (such chapters as seem to be entirely wanting in K20 being marked with an asterisk):-

1. The knowledge of tradition, first about Aûharmazd's original creation and the antagonism of the evil spirit, afterwards about the nature of the creatures of the world, from the original creation till the end; 19 pages; see Chap. I.

2. On the formation of light; 11 pages; see Chap. II.

3. The rush of the destroyer at the creatures; 6 pages; see Chaps. III, IV.

4. On the opposition of the two spirits, that is, in what manner the arch-fiends have come spiritually in opposition to the celestial angels; 10 pages; see Chap. V for two of the middle pages.

5. On the waging of the conflict (ârdîk) of the creations of the world, encountering the evil spirit; I page; see Chap. VI.

6. The second conflict the water waged; 3 pages; see Chap. VII.

7. The third conflict the earth waged; I page; see Chap. VIII.

8. The fourth conflict the plants waged; page; see Chap. IX.

9. The fifth conflict the primeval ox waged; 1/3 page; see Chap. X.

* 10. The sixth conflict Gâyômard waged; 1 1/3 page.

* 11. The seventh conflict the fire waged; 1/3 page.

* 12. The eighth conflict the constellations waged; 1/3 page.

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* 13. The ninth conflict the celestial angels waged with the evil spirit; three lines.

* 14. Tenth, the stars practised non-intermeddling (agûmêgisn) page.

15. On the species of those creations; 2 1/3 pages.

16. On the nature of lands; 1 1/3 page; see Chap. XI.

17. On the nature of mountains; 4 pages; see Chap. X11.

18. On the nature of seas; 2 pages; see Chap. XIII.

19. On the nature of rivers; 5 1/3 pages; see Chaps. XX, XXI.

20. On the nature of lakes; 1 page; see Chap. XXII.

21. On the nature of the five classes of animals; 5 1/3 pages; see Chap. XIV.

22. On the nature of men; 7 pages; see Chap. XV

23. On the nature of generation of every kind; 5 pages; see Chap. XVI.

24. On the nature of plants; 3 pages; see Chap. XXVII.

25. On the chieftainship of men and animals and every single thing; 2 1/3 pages; see Chap. XXIV.

26. On the nature of fire; 4 2/3 pages; see Chap. XVII.

* 27. On the nature of sleep; 2 1/3 pages.

* 28. On the nature of wind and cloud and rain; 9 2/3 pages.

* 29. On the nature of noxious creatures; 4 pages[2].

* 30. On the nature of the wolf species; 2 pages.

31. On things of every kind that are created by the spirits[3], and the opposition which came upon them; 7 pages; see Chaps. XVIII, XIX.

32. On the religious year; 4 pages; see Chaps. XXV, XXVI.

*33. On the great exploits of the celestial angels; 17 pages.

34. On the evil-doing of Aharman and the demons; 7 pages, as in Chap. XXVIII.

[1. TD contains half a page more near the beginning, and a page and a half more at the end.

2. Probably Chap. XXIII of the translation forms a put either of this chapter or the next.

3. This word is doubtful.]

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35. On the body of man and the opinion of the world[1]; 7 pages.

36. On the spiritual chieftainship of the regions of the earth; 3 pages, as in Chap. XXIX.

* 37. On the Kinvad bridge and the souls of the departed; 5 2/3 pages.

* 38. On the celebrated provinces of the country of Iran, the residence of the Kayâns; 5 pages[2].

* 39. On the calamities of various millenniums happening to the country of Iran; 8 2/3 pages[3].

40. On the resurrection and future existence; 6 2/3 pages; see Chap. XXX.

41. On the race and offspring of the Kayâns; 8 2/3 pages, as in Chaps. XXXI-XXXIII.

42. On the computation of years of the Arabs; 2 pages; see Chap. XXXIV.

Comparing this list of contents with the text in K20, as published in Westergaard's lithographed facsimile edition, it appears that TD contains, not only fifteen extra chapters, but also very much additional matter in the chapters corresponding to Chaps. I, II, V, XVI, XXVIII, and XXXI of the translation in this volume, and smaller additions to those corresponding to Chaps. III, IV, XV, XVII, and XXXIV. The arrangement of the chapters in TD is also much more methodical than in the Indian MSS., especially with regard to Chaps. XX, XXI, XXII, and XXVII, which evidently occupy their proper position in TD; and so far as Chap. XX is concerned, this arrangement is confirmed by the insertion of its first sentence between Chaps. XIII and XIV in the Indian MSS., which indicates that the whole chapter must have been in that position in some older copy. In fact, the Indian MSS. must probably be now regarded merely as collections of

[1. The meaning is doubtful and must depend upon the context.

2. This chapter begins with a translation of the first fargard of the Vendidad, and concludes with an account of buildings erected by various kings.

3. Containing an account of the kings reigning in the various millenniums, and concluding with prophecies similar to those in the Bahman Yast.]

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extracts from the, original work; this has been long suspected from the fragmentary character of the text they contain, but it could hardly be proved until a more complete text had been discovered.

Whether TD may be considered as a copy of the text as it stood originally, or merely of an after recension of the work, can hardly be determined with certainty until the whole contents of the manuscript have been carefully examined; it is, therefore, to be hoped that its owner will be induced to publish a lithographed facsimile of the whole, after the manner of Westergaard's edition. So far as appears in the lengthy and valuable extracts, with which he has kindly favoured me, no decided difference of style can be detected between the additional matter and the text hitherto known, nor any inconsistencies more striking than such as sometimes occur in the Indian MSS. On the other hand, it will be noticed that heading No. 25 in the list of contents seems to be misplaced, which is an argument against the text being in its original state; and the style of the Bundahis is so much less involved and obscure than that of the Selections of Zâd-sparam (see Appendix to the Bundahis), which treat of some of the same subjects, that it may be fairly suspected of having been written originally in a different age. But the writer of the text, as it appears in TD, calls Zâd-sparam[1] one of his contemporaries (see Chap. XXXIII, 10, 11 of the translation); it may, therefore, be suspected that he merely re-edited an old text with some additions of his own, which, however, are rather difficult to distinguish from the rest. No stress can be laid upon peculiarities of orthography in TD, as they are, in all likelihood, attributable to copyists long subsequent to Zâd-sparam's contemporaries.

Any future translator of the Bundahis will probably have to take the text in TD as the nearest accessible approach to the original work; but the present translation is based, as heretofore, upon the text in K20, corrected in many places from M6, but with due care not to adopt

[1. He writes the name Zâd-sparham.]

{p. xxxix}

readings which seem due to the illegibility of the original from which M6 was copied, as already explained. In Chaps. XXVIII, XXIX, XXXI, XXXII, and XXXIII, however, TD has been taken as a principal authority, merely checked by K20, and having its additional passages carefully indicated; and in Chap. XXXI, K20b has also been consulted.

Since the present translation was printed, any lingering doubts, as to the genuineness of the text in TD, have been, in a great measure, dissipated by the discovery that a small fragment[1] of an old MS. of the Bundahis, which has long been in Europe, is evidently a portion of a text of similar character to TD, and of exactly the same extent. This small fragment consists of two folios belonging to an old MS. brought from Persia by the late Professor Westergaard in 1843-44, and which is evidently the codex mentioned by him in the preface to his Zend-Avesta, p. 8, note .3. These two folios, which are numbered 130 and 131 in Persian words, now form the commencement of this old mutilated MS., of which the first 129 folios have been lost. They contain very little more than one page of the Bundahis text, namely, the last sentences of the last chapter (corresponding to Bund. XXXIV, 7-9), followed by a colophon occupying less than two pages. This fragment of the text contains some additional details not. found in the Indian MSS., as well as a few other variations of no great importance. It may be translated as follows:--

'[. . . . Sâhm[2] was in those reigns of Aûzôbô, Kavâd, and Mânûskîhar.] Kai-Kâyûs, till his going to the sky, seventy-five years, and after that, seventy-five years, altogether a hundred and fifty years; Kaî-Khûsrôbô sixty

[1. I am indebted to Professor G. Hoffmann, of Kiel, for directing my attention to this fragment, and also for kindly sending me a facsimile of it. It had been recognised as a portion of the Bundahis by Dr. Andreas some years ago, and probably by the owner of the MS., the late Professor Westergaard, long before that.

2. See Bund. XXXI, 27. As the beginning of this sentence is lost in translation is uncertain. Details not found in K20 and M6 are here enclosed in brackets, and words added by the translator to complete the sense are printed in italics.]

{p. xl}

years; Kai-Lôharâsp a hundred and twenty years; Kai-Vistâsp, till the coming of the religion, thirty years; [total (mar) one thousand years[1]. Then the millennium reign came to Capricornus, and Zaratûhast[2] the Spîtâmân, with tidings (pêtkhambarth) from the creator Aûharmazd, came to King Vistâsp; and Vistâsp was king,] after receiving the religion, ninety years.

'Vohûman, son of Spend-dâd, a hundred and twelve years; Hûmâî, daughter of Vohûman, thirty years; Dârâî, son of Kîhar-âzâd, that is, of the daughter of Vohûman, twelve years; Dârâî, son of Dârâî, fourteen years; and Alexander the Rûman[3] fourteen years.

'The Askânians should bear the title in an uninterrupted sovereignty two hundred and so many[4] years; and Artakhshatar, son of Pâpak, and the number of the Sâsânians bear it four hundred and sixty years, until the withering Arabs obtained a place[5] [as far as the year 447 of the Persians; now it is the Persian year 527][6].'

The colophon, which follows, states that the MS. was finished on the thirteenth day of the ninth month A.Y. 936 (A. D. 1567), and was written by Mitrô-âpân, son of Anôshakrûbân, son of Rûstâm. This MS. is, therefore, of nearly the same age as TD; but there has been no opportunity of collating the fragment of it, which is still extant, with the corresponding portion of TD. That it was a MS. of the same character as TD (that is, one containing the same text as K20, but with much additional matter) appears clearly

[1. From the beginning of Frêdûn's reign, when the millennium of Sagittarius commenced.

2. The usual way of spelling Zaratûst in old MSS; excepting K20 and a few others.

3. Here written correctly Alaksandar-i Arûmâî.

4. Reading va and; as the final letter is d and not d it cannot be read nâvad as a variant of navad, 'ninety.'

5. The words are, vad gînâk ayâft khûskô-i Tâzîkânô, but the exact meaning is rather doubtful.

6. The last date is doubtful, as the Pahlavi text gives the ciphers only for 'five and twenty-seven,' omitting that for 'hundred.' These Persian dates must either have been added by some former copyist, or Chap. XXXIV must have been appended to the Bundahis at a later date than the ninth century, when the preceding genealogical chapters were probably added to the original work (see p. xliii). The Persian year 627 was A.D. 1158.]

{p. xli}

from the fragment translated above. Regarding its original extent, it is possible to make an approximate estimate, by calculating the quantity of text which the 129 lost folios must have contained, from the quantity actually existing on folio 130. According to this calculation, the original extent of the text of the Bundahis in this MS. must have been very nearly 30,000 words; and it is remarkable that a similar calculation of the extent of the text in TD, based upon the actual contents of ten folios Out of 103, gives precisely the same result. This coincidence is a strong argument in favour of the absolute identity of the text lost from Westergaard's MS. with that actually existing in TD; it shows, further, that the original extent of the Bundahis may now be safely estimated at 30,000 words, instead of the 13,000 contained in K20 when that MS. was complete.

That this fragment belonged to a separate MS., and is not the folio missing from the end of TD, is shown not only by its containing more of the text than is said to be missing, but also by the first folio of the fragment being numbered 130, instead of 103, and by its containing fifteen lines to the page, instead of seventeen, as would be necessary in order to correspond with TD.

Regarding the age of the Bundahis many opinions have been hazarded, but as they have been chiefly based upon minute details of supposed internal evidence evolved from each writer's special misinterpretation of the text, it is unnecessary to detail them. The only indication of its age that can be fairly obtained from internal evidence, is that the text of the Bundahis could not have been completed, in its present form, until after the Muhammadan conquest of Persia (A.D. 651). This is shown not only by the statements that the sovereignty 'went to the Arabs' (Chap. XXXIV, 9), that 'now, through the invasion of the Arabs, they (the negroes) are again diffused through the country of Iran' (Chap. XXIII, 3), and that 'whoever keeps the year by the revolution of the moon mingles summer with winter and winter with summer' (Chap. XXV, 19, referring probably to the Muhammadan year not corresponding with the seasons), but also, more positively

{p. xlii}

by the following translation of an extract from Chap. 39 in TD:--

'And when the sovereignty came to Yazdakard he exercised sovereignty twenty years, and then the Arabs rushed into the country of Iran in great multitude. Yazdakard did not prosper (lâ sâkaftö) in warfare with them, and went to Khûrâsân and Tûrkistân to seek horses, men, and assistance, and was slain by them there. The son of Yazdakard went to the Hindûs and fetched an army of champions; before it came, conducted unto Khûrâsân, that army of champions dispersed. The country of Iran remained with the Arabs, and their own irreligious law was propagated by them, and many ancestral customs were destroyed; the religion of the Mazdayasnians was weakened, and washing of corpses, burial of corpses, and eating of dead matter were put in practice. From the original creation until this day evil more grievous than this has not happened, for through their evil deeds--on account of want, foreign habits (Anîrânîh), hostile acts, bad decrees, and bad religion--ruin, want, and other evils--have taken lodgment.'

None of these passages could have been written before the Muhammadan conquest; but the writer, or editor, of the text as it appears in TD, supplies the means of approximating much more closely to the date of his work, in a passage in Chap. 41 of TD, in which he mentions the names of several of his contemporaries (see Chap. XXXIII, 10, 11). Among these, as already noticed, he mentions 'Zâd-sparham son of Yûdân-Yim,' who must have been the writer of the Selections of Zâd-sparam, a translation of which is added as an appendix to the Bundahis in this volume. This writer was the brother of Mânûskîhar son of Yûdân-Yim, who wrote the Dâdistân-i Dînîk[1], and from colophons found in certain MSS. of the Dâdistân (which will be more particularly described in the next section of this introduction) it appears that this Mânûskîhar was

[1. It is quite possible that Mânûskîhar was also the reviser of the Bundahis; see the note on Dâdakîh-i Ashôvahistô in Chap. XXXIII, 10.]

{p. xliii}

high-priest of Pârs and Kîrmân in A.Y. 250 (A. D. 881). This date may, therefore, be taken as a very close approximation to the time at which the Bundahis probably assumed the form we find in TD; but that MS., having been written about 650 years later, can hardly have been copied direct from the original. Whether that original was merely a new edition of an older Pahlavi work, as may be suspected from the simplicity of its language, or whether it was first translated, for the most part, from the Avesta of the Dâmdâd Nask, in the ninth century, we have no means of determining with certainty. judging, however, from Chap. I, 1, the original Bundahis probably ended with the account of the resurrection (Chap. XXX), and the extra chapters, containing genealogical and chronological details (matters not mentioned in Chap. I, i), together with all allusions to the Arabs, were probably added by the revising editor in the ninth century. The last, or chronological, chapter may even have been added at a later date.

A Gugarâti translation, or rather paraphrase, of the Bundahis was published in 1819 by Edal Dârâb Jamshêd Jâmâsp Âsâ, and a revised edition of it was published by Peshutan Rustam in 1877[1]. In the preface to the latter edition it is stated that the translator made use of two MSS., one being a copy of a manuscript written in Iran in A.Y. 776 by Rustamji Meherwanji Margabân Sheheriâr[2], and the other a MS. written in India by Dastûr Jamshêdji Jâmâspji in A.Y. 1139[3]. It is also mentioned that he was four years at work upon his translation. The editor of the new edition states that he has laboured to

[1. Bundehes ketâb, iâne duniâ-ni awal-thi te âkher sudhi pedâes-ni sahruât-ni hakikat; bigi-vâr sudhârine khapâwanâr, Peshutan bin Rustam; Mumbai, 1877.

2. There is no doubt whatever that the writer of the preface is referring to M6, although his description is incorrect. M6 was written at Bhrôk in India A.Y. 766 by Pêshôtan Râm Kâmdîn Shaharyâr Nêryôsang Shâhmard Shaharyâr Bâhrâm Aûrmazdâyr Râmyâr; but some portion of it (probably not the Bundahis) was copied from a MS. written A.Y. 618 (A.D. 1249) by Rûstam Mihirâpân Marzapân Dahisni-ayâr, who must be the copyist mentioned in the preface to the Gugarâti translation.

3. This is probably the copy derived from M6, and mentioned in p. xxx as being now in the library of Dastûr Jâmâspji Minochiharji.]

{p. xliv}

improve the work by collecting all the further information he could find, on the various subjects, in many other Pahlavi works. The result of all this labour is not so much a mere translation of the Bundahis, as a larger work. upon the same subject, or a paraphrase more methodically arranged, as may be seen from the following summary of its contents:--

The headings of the fifty-nine chapters, which form the first part of the work, are:--Ahuramazd's covenant, account of the sky, of the first twelve things created, of Mount Alborg, of the twelve signs of the zodiac, of the stars, of the soul, of the first practices adopted by the creatures of the evil spirit Ahereman, of Ahereman's first breaking into the sky, of Ahereman's coming upon the primeval ox, of Ahereman's arrival in the fire, of Ahereman's coming upon Gaiomard, of the coming of Ahuramazd and Ahereman upon Gaiomard at the time of his creation, of the lustre residing in both spirits; further account of the arrangement of the sky, another account of all the mountains, of depressions for water, of great and small rivers, of the eighteen rivers of fresh water, of the seven external and seven internal liquids in the bodies of men, of the period in which water falling on the earth arrives at its destination, of the three spiritual rivers, of the star Tehestar's destroying the noxious creatures which Ahereman had distributed over the earth, of the prophet Zarathost's asking the creator Ahuramazd how long these noxious creatures will remain in the latter millenniums, of driving the poison of the noxious creatures out of the. earth, of the divisions of the land, of the creator Ahuramazd's placing valiant stars as club-bearers over the heads of the demons, of all the things produced by the passing away of the primeval ox, of the 282 species of beasts and birds, of the bird named Kamros, of the bird named Karsapad and the hollow of Vargamkard, of the birds who are enemies opposed to the demons and fiends, of the bitter and sweet plants among the fifty-five kinds of grain and twelve kinds of herbs, of the flowers of the thirty days, of the revolution of the sun and moon and stars, and how

{p. xlv}

night falls, and how the day becomes light, of the seven regions of the earth, of depressions, of the creatures of the sea, of the flow and, ebb of the tide, of the three-legged ass, of the Gâhambârs, of Rapithvan, of the revolution of the seasons, of the production of mankind from the passing away of Gaiomard, of the production of offspring from the seed of men, of all fires, of all the clever work produced in the reign of King Jamshed and the production of the ape and bear, of the production of the Abyssinian and negro from Zohâk, of the splendour and glory of King Jamshed, of the soul of Kersâsp, of Kersâsp's soul being the first to rise, of the names of the prophet Zarathost's pedigree, of his going out into the world, of his children, of the orders given by Ahereman to the demons when the creator Ahuramazd created the creatures, of the weeping and raging of the evil spirit Ahereman, of the weeping of the demon of Wrath in the presence of Ahereman when the prophet Zarathost brought the religion, of the computation of twelve thousand years.

The headings of the thirteen chapters, which form the second part, are:--Account of the last millenniums, of the appearance of Hosedar-bâmi, of his going out into the world, of the appearance of Hosedar-mâh, of Sosios, of the fifty-seven years, of giving the light of the sun to men on the day of the resurrection, of the rising again of the whole of mankind on that day, of the resurrection, of the means of resurrection, of the annihilation of the evil spirit Ahereman and the demons and fiends on the day of resurrection, of the creator Ahuramazd's making the earth and sky one after the resurrection, of the proceedings of all creatures after the resurrection.

The third part contains an abstract of the contents of the hundred chapters of the Sad-dar Bundahis, and concludes with an account of the ceremonial formula practised when tying the kusti or sacred thread-girdle.

{p. xlvi}


In some manuscripts of the Dâdistân-i Dînîk the ninety-two questions and answers, which usually go by that name, are preceded and followed by Pahlavi texts which are each nearly equal in extent to the questions and answers, and treat of a variety of subjects, somewhat in the manner of a Rivâyat. Of the texts which follow the questions and answers the following are the principal:--

Incantations for fever, &c.; indications afforded by natural marks on the body; about the hamîstakân ('the ever-stationary,' or neutral state of future existence) and the different grades in heaven; copy of an epistle[1] from Herbad Mânûskîhar son of Yûdân-Yim[2], Which he addressed to the good people of Sîrkân[3], about the decisions pronounced by Herbad Zâd-sparam son of Yûdân-Yim; copy of a letter from Herbad Mânûskîhar son of Yûdân-Yim to his brother, Herbad Zâd-sparam, on the same subject, and replying to a letter of his written from Nîvshâpûhar; copy of a notice by Herbad Mânûskîhar, son of Yûdân-Yim and high-priest (rad) of Pârs and Kîrmân, of the necessity of fifteen-fold ablution on account of grievous sin, written and sealed in the third month A.Y. 250 (A.D. 881); memoranda and writings called 'Selections of Zâd-sparam son of Yûdân-Yim,' the first part treating of many of the same subjects as the Bundahis, together

[1. This long epistle contains one statement which is important in its bearing upon the age of certain Pahlavi writings, It states that Nîshahpûhar was in the council of Anôshak-rûbân Khûsrô, king of kings and son of Kavâd, also that he was Mobad of Mobads and a commentator. Now this is the name of a commentator quoted in the Pahlavi Vend. III, 151, V, 112, VIII, 64, and very frequently in the Nîrangistân; it is also a title applied to Ardâ-Vîrâf (see AV. I. 35). These facts seem to limit the age of the last revision of the Pahlavi Vendidad, and of the composition of the Pahlavi Nîrangistân and Ardâ-Vîrâf-nâmak to the time of King Khûsrô Nôshirvân (A.D. 531-579). The statement depends, of course, upon the accuracy of a tradition three centuries old, as this epistle must have been written about A. D. 880.

2. Some Parsis read this name Gôshnajam, others Yûdân-dam.

3. Mr. Tehmuras Dinshawji thinks this is the place now called Sîrgan, about thirty parasangs south of Kirmân, on the road to Bandar Abbâs, which is no doubt the case.]

{p. xlvii}

with legends regarding Zaratûst and his family; the second part about the formation of men out of body, life, and soul; and the third part about the details of the renovation of the universe. The last part of these Selections is incomplete in all known MSS., and is followed by some fragments of a further series of questions and answers regarding the omniscient wisdom, the evil spirit, Kangdes, the enclosure formed by Yim, &c.

A translation of so much of the Selections of Zâd-sparam as treats of the same subjects as the Bundahis, has been added as an appendix to the translation of that work in this volume, because the language used in these Selections seems to have an important bearing upon the question of the age of the Bundahis. The time when the Selections themselves were written is fixed with considerable precision by the date (A. D. 881), when their author's brother, Mânûskîhar, issued his public notice, as mentioned above. But Zâd-sparam uses, in many places, precisely the same words as those employed in the Bundahis, interspersed with much matter written in a more declamatory style; it is, therefore, evident that he had the Bundahis before him to quote from, and that work must consequently have been written either by one of his contemporaries, or by an older writer. So far the Selections merely confirm the information already obtained more directly from TD (see p. xxxviii); but the involved style of their language seems to prove more than this. In fact, in none of the text of the Dâdistân-i Dînîk and its accompaniments is there much of the simplicity of style and directness of purpose which are the chief characteristics of most of the language of the Bundahis. So far, therefore, as style can be considered a mark of age, rather than a mere personal peculiarity of a contemporary writer, the contrast between the straightforward language of the Bundahis and the laboured sentences of Mânûskîhar and Zâd-sparam, sons of Yûdân-Yim, tends to prove that the bulk of the Bundahis was already an old work in their days, and was probably saved from oblivion through their writings or influence. That this original Bundahis or Zandâkâs was an abridged translation of the Avesta of the

{p. xlviii}

Dâmdâd Nask appears pretty evident from Zâd-sparam's remarks in Chap. IX, I, 16 of his Selections.

The first part of these Selections consists of 'sayings about the meeting of the beneficent and evil spirits,' and, the first portion of these 'sayings' (divided into eleven, chapters in the translation) is chiefly a paraphrase of Caps. I-XVII of the Bundahis (omitting Chaps. II, V, and XVI). It describes the original state of the two spirits, their meeting and covenant, with a paraphrase of the Ahânavar formula; the production of the first creatures, including time; the incursion of the evil spirit and his temporary success in deranging the creation, with the reason why he was unable to destroy the primitive man for thirty years; followed by the seven contests he carried on with the sky, water, earth, plants, animals, man, and fire, respectively, detailing how each of these creations was modified in consequence of the incursion of the evil spirit. In the account of the first of these contests the Pahlavi translation of one stanza in the Gâthas is quoted verbatim, showing that the same Pahlavi version of the Yasna was used in the ninth century as now exists. The remainder of these 'sayings,' having no particular connection with the Bundahis, has not been translated.

With regard to the Pahlavi text of the Selections, the present translator has been compelled to rely upon a single manuscript of the Dâdistân-i Dînîk, brought by Westergaard from Kirmân[1] in 1843, and now No. 35 of the collection of Avesta and Pahlavi MSS. in the University Library at Kopenhagen; it may, therefore, be called K35. This MS. is incomplete, having lost nearly one-third of its original bulk, but still contains 181 folios of large octavo size, written fifteen to seventeen lines to the page; the first seventy-one folios of the work have been lost, and about thirty-five folios are also missing from the end; but the whole of the ninety-two questions and answers, together with one-third of the

[1. That is, so far as the late Professor Westergaard could remember in 1878, when he kindly lent me the MS. for collation with my copy of the text, already obtained from more recent MSS. in Bombay, the best of which turned out to be, a copy of K35.]

{p. xlix}

texts which usually precede them, and three-fifths of those which usually follow them, are still remaining. This MS. has lost its date, but a copy[1] of it exists in Bombay (written when it was complete) which ends with a colophon dated A.Y. 941 (A.D. 1572), as detailed in p. xxxiii; this may either be the actual date of that copy, or it may have been merely copied from K35, which cannot be much older. The latter supposition appears the more probable, as this colophon seems to be left incomplete by the loss of the last folio in the Bombay copy, and may, therefore, have been followed by another colophon giving a later date.

This copy of K35 was, no doubt, originally complete, but has lost many of its folios in the course of time; most of the missing text has been restored from another MS., but there are still twelve or more folios missing from the latter part of the work; it contains, however, all that portion of the Selections which is translated in this volume, but has, of course, no authority independent of K35. The other MS. in Bombay, from which some of the missing text was recovered, is in the library of Dastûr Jâmâspji Minochiharji; it is a modern copy, written at different periods from forty to sixty years ago, and is incomplete, as it contains only one-fourth of the texts which usually follow the ninety-two questions and answers, and includes no Portion of the Selections of Zâd-sparam.

Another MS. of the Dâdistân-i Dînîk and its accompaniments, written also at Kirmân, but two generations earlier than K35 (say, about A.D. 1530), has been already mentioned (see p. xxxiii). It is said still to contain 227 folios, though its first seventy folios are missing; it must, therefore, begin very near the same place as K35, but extends much further, as it supplies about half the text still missing from the

[1. The fact of its being a copy of K35 is proved by strong circumstantial evidence. In the first place, it contains several false readings which are clearly due to mis-shapen letters and accidental marks in K35, so that it is evidently descended from that MS. But it is further proved to have been copied direct from that MS., by the last words in thirty-two of its pages having been marked with interlined circles in K35; the circle having been the copyist's mark for finding his place, when beginning a new page after turning over his folios.]

{p. l}

Bombay copy of K35, though it has lost about fourteen folios at the end. This MS. must be either the original from which K35 was copied, or an independent authority of equal value, but it has not been available for settling the text of the Selections for the present translation.


The Bahman Yast, usually called the 'Zand of the Vohûman Yast,' professes to be a prophetical work, in which Aûharmazd gives Zaratûst an account of what was to happen to the Iranian nation and religion in the future.

It begins with an introduction (Chap. I) which states that, according to the Stûdgar Nask, Zaratûst having asked Aûharmazd for immortality, was supplied temporarily with omniscient wisdom, and had a vision of a tree with four branches of different metals which were explained to him as symbolical of four different periods, the times of Vistâsp, of Ardakhshîr the Kayânian, of Khûsrô Nôshirvân, and of certain demons or idolators who were to appear at the end of a thousand years. It states, further, that the commentaries of the Vohûman, Horvadad, and Âstâd Yasts mentioned the heretic Mazdak, and that Khûsrô Nôshirvân summoned a council of high-priests and commentators, and ordered them not to conceal these Yasts, but to teach the commentary only among their own relations.

The text then proceeds (Chap. 11) to give the details of the commentary on the Vohûman Yast as follows:--Zaratûst, having again asked Aûharmazd for immortality, is refused, but is again supplied with omniscient wisdom for a week, during which time he sees, among other things, a tree with seven branches of different metals, which are again explained to him as denoting the seven ages of the religion, its six ages of triumph in the reigns of Vistâsp, of Ardakhshîr the Kayânian, of one of the Askânian kings, of Ardakhshîr Pâpakân and Shahpûr I and II, of Vâhrâm Gôr, and of Khûsrô Nôshirvân, and its seventh age of adversity when

{p. li}

Iran is to be invaded from the east by hordes of demons or idolators with dishevelled hair, who are to work much mischief, so as to destroy the greater part of the nation and mislead the rest, until the religion becomes nearly extinct. The details of this mischief, written in a tone of lamentation, constitute the greater part of the text, which also notices that the sovereignty will pass from the Arabs, Romans, and these leathern-belted demons (Tûrks) to other Tûrks and non-Tûranians who are worse than themselves.

Distressed at this narrative Zaratûst asks Aûharmazd (Chap. III, 1) how the religion is to be restored, and these demons destroyed? He is informed that, in the course of time, other fiends with red banners, red weapons, and red hats, who seem to be Christians, will appear in the northwest, and will advance either to the Arvand (Tigris) or the Euphrates, driving back the former demons who will assemble all their allies to a great conflict, one of the three great battles of the religions of the world, in which the wicked will be so utterly destroyed that none will be left to pass into the next millennium.

Zaratûst enquires (III, 12) how so many can perish, and is informed that, after the demons with dishevelled hair appear, Hûshêdar, the first of the last three apostles, is born near Lake Frazdân; and when he begins to confer with Aûharmazd a Kayân prince is born in the direction of Kînistân (Samarkand), who is called Vâhrâm the Vargâvand, and when he is thirty years old he collects a large army of Hindu (Bactrian) and Kînî (Samarkandian) troops, and advances into Iran, where he is reinforced by a numerous army of Iranian warriors, and defeats the demon races with immense slaughter, in the great conflict already mentioned, so that there will be only one man left to a thousand women.

The writer then proceeds to describe the supernatural agencies employed to produce this result: how the evil spirit (III, 24) comes to the assistance of the demon-worshippers; how Aûharmazd sends his angels to Kangdez, to summon Pêshyôtanû, the immortal son of Vistâsp, with his disciples, to re-establish the sacred fires and restore the

{p. lii}

religious ceremonies; and how the angels assist them against the evil spirits, so that Vâhrâm the Vargâvand is enabled to destroy the fiendish races, as already detailed, and Pêshyôtanû becomes supreme high-priest of the Iranian world.

Finally, the writer. gives some details regarding the missions of the last three apostles, returning for that purpose (III, 44) to the birth of Hûshêdar, the first of the three, whose millennium witnesses both the invasion and the destruction of the fiendish races. Hûshêdar proves his apostolic authority, to the satisfaction of Vargâvand and the people, by making the sun stand still for ten days and nights. His mission is to 'bring the creatures back to their proper state;' and it is not till near the end of his millennium that Pêshyôtanû appears, as before described. As this millennium begins with the invasion of the fiendish races and the fall of the Sasanian dynasty, it must have terminated in the seventeenth century, unless it was to last more than a thousand years. A very brief account is then given of the millennium of Hûshêdar-mâh, the second of the three apostles, whose mission is to make 'the creatures more progressive' and to destroy 'the fiend of serpent origin' (Az-i Dahâk). During his millennium (which appears to be now in progress) mankind become so skilled in medicine that they do not readily die; but owing to their toleration of heretics the evil spirit once more attains power, and releases Az-i Dahâk, from his confinement in Mount Dimâvand, to work evil in the world, till Aûharmazd sends his angels to rouse Keresâsp the Sâmân, who rises from his trance and kills Az-i Dahâk with his club at the end of the millennium. Afterwards, Sôshyans, the last apostle, appears to 'make the creatures again pure;' when the resurrection takes place and the future existence commences.

Whether this text, as now extant, be the original commentary or zand of the Vohûman Yast admits of doubt, since it appears to quote that commentary (Chap. II, 1) as an authority for its statements; it is, therefore, most probably, only an epitome of the original commentary. Such an epitome would naturally quote many passages verbatim

{p. liii}

from the original work, which ought to bear traces of translation from an Avesta text, as its title zand implies a Pahlavi translation from the Avesta (see p. x). There are, in fact, many such traces in this epitome, as indicated by the numerous sentences beginning with a verb, the mode of addressing Aûharmazd, the quotation of different opinions from various commentators, and other minor peculiarities. Some of these might be the result of careful imitation of other commentaries, but it seems more likely that they are occasioned by literal translation from an original Avesta text. In speculating, therefore, upon the contents of the Bahman Yast it is necessary to remember that we are most probably dealing with a composite work, whose statements may be referred to the three different ages of the Avesta original, the Pahlavi translation and commentary, and the Pahlavi epitome of the latter; and that this last form of the text is the only old version now extant.

With regard to the age of the work we have the external evidence that a copy of it exists in a manuscript (K20) written about five hundred years ago, and that this copy is evidently descended from older manuscripts as it contains several clerical blunders incompatible with any idea of its being the original, manuscript, as witness the omissions noted in Chaps. II, 10, 13, 14, 22, 27, 45, III, 30, 32, the misplacement of II, 18, and many miswritings of single words. Owing to the threefold character of the work, already noticed, the internal evidence of its age can only apply to its last recension in the form of an epitome, as an oriental editor (to say nothing of others) generally considers himself at liberty to alter and add to his text, if he does not understand it, or thinks he can improve it. That this liberty has been freely exercised, with regard to these professed prophecies, is shown by the identification of the four prophetical ages of the Stûdgar Nask in the first chapter of the Bahman Yast being different from that given in the Dînkard. The Dînkard quotes the Stûdgar Nask (that is, its Pahlavi version) as identifying the iron age with some period of religious indifference subsequent to the time of Atarô-pâd son of Mâraspend, the supreme high-priest and

{p. liv}

prime minister of Shahpûr II (A.D. 309-379); but the Bahman Yast (Chap. I, 5) quotes the Nask as identifying the same age with the reign of an idolatrous race subsequent to the time of Khûsrô Nôshirvân (A.D. 531-579). This example is sufficient to show that the compiler of the extant epitome of the Bahman Yast commentary largely availed himself of his editorial license, and it indicates the difficulty of distinguishing his statements from those of the former editors. At the same time it proves that the epitome could not have been compiled till after Iran had been overrun by a foreign race subsequent to the reign of Khûsrô Nôshirvân. It is remarkable that the compiler does not mention any later Sasanian king, that he does not allude to Muhammadanism, and speaks of the foreign invaders as Turanians and Christians, only mentioning Arabs incidentally in later times; at the same time the foreign invasion (which lasts a thousand years) is of too permanent a character to allow of its having reference merely to the troublous times of Nôshirvân's successor.

Perhaps the most reasonable hypotheses that can be founded upon these facts are, first, that the original zand or commentary of the Bahman Yast was written and translated from the Avesta in the latter part of the reign of Khûsrô Nôshirvân, or very shortly afterwards, which would account for no later king being mentioned by name; and, secondly, that the epitome now extant was compiled by some writer who lived so long after the Arab invasion that the details of their inroad had, become obscured by the more recent successes of Turanian rulers, such as the Ghaznavîs and Salgûqs of the eleventh and twelfth centuries. It is hardly possible that the epitomist could have lived as late as the time of Gingîz Khân, the great Mongol conqueror (A.D. 1206-1227), as that would bring him within 150 years of the date of the extant manuscript of his work, which has no appearance of being an immediate copy of the original; but the rule of the Salgûqs would certainly have afforded him sufficient materials for his long description of the iron age. The Avesta of the Bahman Yast was probably compiled from older sources (like the rest of the Avesta) during

{p. lv}

the reigns of the earlier Sasanian monarchs but it was, no doubt, very different in its details from the epitome of its commentary which still exists.

These hypotheses, regarding the threefold origin of the present form of this Yast, derive some confirmation from the inconsistencies in its chronological details; especially those relating to the periods of the invaders' reign and of Hûshêdar's birth. The Zoroastrians have for ages been expecting the appearance of Hûshêdar, the first of their last three apostles, but have always had to postpone their expectations from time to time, like the Jews and other interpreters of prophecy; so that they are still looking forward into the future for his advent, although his millennium has long since expired according to the chronology adopted in the Bahman Yast. This chronology, of course, represents the expectations of Zoroastrians in past times, and seems to express three different opinions. First, we have the statement that the last great battle of the demon-races is to take place at the end of Zaratûst's millennium (see Chap. III, 9), when the wicked will be so destroyed (compare III, 22, 23) that none will pass into the next millennium (III, 11),,which is that of Hûshêdar (III, 43). And that the reign of evil is to precede the end of Zaratûst's millennium is evidently assumed also in Chap. II, 41, 63. Such opinions may reasonably be traced to the original Avesta writer, who must have expected only a short reign of evil to arise and fall near the latter end of Zaratûst's millennium, which was still far in the future, and to be followed by the appearance of Hûshêdar to restore the 'good' religion. Secondly, we are told (I, 5, II, 22, 24, 31) that the invasion of the demon-races, with its attendant evils, is to take place when Zaratûst's millennium is ended; on their appearance Hûshêdar is born (III, 13), and when he is thirty years old (compare III, 14 with III, 44) Vâhrâm the Vargâvand is also born, who at the age of thirty (III, 17) advances into Iran with an innumerable army to destroy the invaders. Such statements may be attributed to the original Pahlavi translator and commentator who, writing about A.D. 570-590, would have before his eyes the disastrous

{p. lvi}

reign of Aûharmazd IV, the son and successor of Khûsrô Nôshirvân, together with the prowess of the famous Persian general Bahrâm Kôpîn, which drove out all invaders. This writer evidently expected the reign of the demon-races to last less than a century, but still at some period in the near future; merely illustrating his theme by details of the disasters and wars of his own time. Thirdly, we find it stated (III, 44) that Hûshêdar will be born in 1600, which seems to mean the sixteen hundredth year of Zaratûst's millennium, or six hundredth of his own (say A.D. 1193-1235),--also that the reign of the demon-races is to last a thousand years (III, 34), and that Pêshyôtanû does not come to restore the religion till near the end of the millennium (III, 51); it also appears (III, 49) that Vargâvand occupies a prominent position when Hûshêdar comes from his conference with Aûharmazd at thirty years of age (III, 44, 45). Such details were probably inserted by the compiler of the epitome, who had to admit the facts that the reign of the demon-races had already lasted for centuries, and that Hûshêdar had not yet appeared. To get over these difficulties he probably adopted the opinions current in his day, and postponed the advent of Hûshêdar till the beginning of the next century in his millennium, and put off the destruction of the wicked, as a more hopeless matter, till near the end of the millennium. Both these periods are now long since past, and the present Zoroastrians have still to postpone the fulfilment of the prophecies connected with their last three apostles, or else to understand them in a less literal fashion than heretofore.

For the Pahlavi text, of the Bahman Yast the translator has to rely upon the single old manuscript K20, already described (p. xxvii), in which it occupies the 131 folios immediately following the Bundahis; these folios are much worn, and a few words have been torn off some of them, but nearly all of these missing-words can be restored by aid of the Pâzand version. The Pahlavi text is also found in the modern copies of K20 at Paris and Kopenhagen, but these copies (P7 and K21) have no authority independent of K20. In India this text has long been exceedingly rare,

{p. lvii}

and whether any copy of it exists, independent of K20, is doubtful.

The Pâzand version is more common in Parsi libraries, but contains a very imperfect text. of this version two modern copies, have been consulted; one of these occupies fols. 38-62 of a small manuscript, No. 22 of the Haug collection in the State Library at Munich; the other is a copy of a manuscript in the library of the high-priest of the Parsis in Bombay. Both these MSS. are evidently descended from the same original, which must have been a very imperfect transliteration of a Pahlavi text closely resembling that of K20, but yet independent of that MS., as a few words omitted in K20 are supplied by these Pâzand MSS. (see B.Yt. II, 13, 14, 22, &c.) To a certain extent, therefore, these Pâzand MSS. are of some assistance in settling the text of a few sentences, but the greater part of their contents is so imperfect as to be utterly unintelligible; they not only omit Chaps. I, 1-8, II, 17, 30-32, 40, III, 9, 12, 17-44, 58-63 entirely, but also words and phrases from nearly every other section of the text. Adhering scrupulously to the Pahlavi original for a few consecutive words, and then widely departing from it by misreading or omitting all difficult words and passages, this Pâzand version is a complete contrast to the Pâzand writings of Nêryôsang, being of little use to the reader beyond showing the extremely low ebb to which Pahlavi learning must have fallen, among the Parsis, before such unintelligible writings could have been accepted as Pâzand texts.

There is also a Persian version of the Bahman Yast, a copy of which, written A.D. 1676, is contained in a large Rivâyat MS. No. 29, belonging to the University Library at Bombay. According to the colophon of this Persian version it was composed in A.D. 1496 by Rustam Isfendiyâr of Yazd, from an Avesta (Pâzand) MS. belonging to his brother Jamshêd. This Persian version contains less than three per cent of Arabic words, and is more of a paraphrase than a translation, but it adheres very closely to the meaning of the Pahlavi text from Chaps. I, I to III, 9, where a dislocation occurs, evidently owing either to the displacement

{p. lviii}

of two folios in an older MS,, or to the second page of a folio being copied before the first, so that 10-14 follow 15-22. From the middle of 22 the folios of the older MS. seem to have been lost as far as the end of Hûshêdar's millennium ( 51), to which point the Persian version leaps, but the remainder of this paraphrase is much more diffuse than the Bahman Yast, and is evidently derived from some other Pahlavi work.

This conclusion of the Persian version describes how adversity departs from the world, and ten people are satisfied with the milk of one cow, when Hûshêdar-mâh appears and his millennium commences. On his coming from his conference with Aûharmazd the sun stands still for twenty days and nights, in consequence of which two-thirds of the people in the world believe in the religion. Meat is no longer eaten, but only milk and butter, and a hundred people are satisfied with the milk of one cow. Hûshêdar-mâh destroys the terrible serpent, which accompanies apostasy, by means of the divine glory and Avesta formulas; he clears all noxious creatures out of the world, and wild animals live harmlessly among mankind; the fiends of apostasy and deceit depart from the world, which becomes populous and delightful, and mankind abstain from falsehood. After the five-hundredth year of Hûshêdar-mâh has passed away, Sôshyans (Sâsân) appears, and destroys the fiend who torments fire. The sun stands still for thirty days. and nights, when all mankind believe in the religion, and the year becomes exactly 360 days. Dahâk escapes from his confinement, and reigns for a day and a half in the world with much tyranny; when Sôshyans, rouses Sâm Narîmân, who accepts the religion and becomes immortal. Sâm calls upon Dahâk to accept the religion, but the latter proposes that they should together seize upon heaven for themselves, whereupon Sâm kills him. All evil having departed from the world mankind become like the archangels, and the resurrection takes place, which is described with many of the same details as are mentioned in Bund. XXX.

Accompanying. this Persian version in B29 is another

{p. lix}

fragment from the same source, which treats of the same subjects as the third chapter of the Bahman Yast, but is differently arranged. It confines itself to the millennium of Hûshêdar, and may possibly be some modification of the contents of the folios missing from the version described above. After some introductory matter this fragment contains a paraphrase (less accurate than the preceding) of Chap. III, 2,3-49 of the Bahman Yast; it then proceeds to state that Hûshêdar destroys the wolf race, so that wolves, thieves, highway robbers, and criminals cease to exist. When Hûshêdar's three-hundredth year has passed away the winter of Malkôs arrives and destroys all animals and vegetation, and only one man survives out of ten thousand; after which the world is repeopled from the enclosure made by Yim. Then comes the gathering of the nations to the great battle on the Euphrates, where the slaughter is so great that the water of the river becomes red, and the survivors wade in blood up to their horses' girths. Afterwards, the Kayân king, Vargâvand, advances from the frontiers of India and takes possession of Iran to the great delight of the inhabitants, but only after a great battle; and then Pêshyôtanû is summoned from Kangdez to restore the religious ceremonies.

A German translation of some passages in the Bahman Yast, with a brief summary of the greater part of. the remainder, was published in 1860 in Spiegel's Traditionelle Literatur der Parsen, pp. 128-135.


Another treatise which must be referred to about the same age as the Bundahis, though of a very different character, is the Shâyast lâ-shâyast or 'the proper and improper.' It is a compilation of miscellaneous laws and customs regarding sin and impurity, with other memoranda about ceremonies and religious subjects in general. Its name has, no doubt, been given to it in modern times[1], and has probably

[1. But perhaps before the compilation of the prose Sad-dar Bundahis, or Bundahis of a hundred chapters, which seems to refer to the Shâyast lâ-shâyast {footnote p. lx} in its opening words, as follows:--'This book is on "the proper and improper" which is brought out from the good, pure religion of the Mazdayasnians;' though this term may possibly relate to its own contents. There is also a Persian treatise called Shâyast na-shâyast, which gives a good deal of information obtained from the Persian Rivâyats, and copies of which are contained in the MSS. Nos. 56 and 116 of the Ouseley collection in the Bodleian Library at Oxford.]

{p. lx}

arisen from the frequent use it makes of the words shâyad, 'it is fit or proper,' and lâ shâyad, 'it is not fit or proper.' And, owing to its resemblance to those Persian miscellanies of traditional memoranda called Rivâyats, it has also been named the Pahlavi Rivâyat, though chiefly by Europeans.

It consists of two parts, which are often put together in modern MSS., and bear the same name, but are widely separated in the oldest MSS. These two parts, consisting respectively of Chaps. I-X and XI-XIV in the present translation, are evidently two distinct treatises on the same and similar subjects, but of nearly the same age. That they were compiled by two different persons, who had access to nearly the same authorities, appears evident from Chaps. XI, 1, 2, XII, 11, 13-16, 18, 20 being repetitions of Chaps. I, 1, 2, X, 4, 20-23, 7, 31, with only slight alterations; such repetitions as would hardly be made in a single treatise by the same writer. Minor repetitions in the first part, such as those of some phrases in Chaps. II, 65, IV, 14, repeated in Chap. X, 24, 33, might readily be made by the same writer in different parts of the same treatise. To these two parts of the Shâyast lâ-shâyast a third part has been added in the present translation, as an appendix, consisting of a number of miscellaneous passages of a somewhat similar character, which are found in the same old MSS. that contain the first two parts, but which cannot be attributed either to the same writers or the same age as those parts.

The first part commences with the names and amounts of the various degrees of sin, and the names of the chief commentators on the Vendidad. It then gives long details regarding the precautions to be taken with reference to corpses and menstruous women, and the impurity they occasion; besides mentioning (Chap. II, 33-35) the pollution

{p. lxi}

caused by a serpent. It next describes the proper size and materials of the sacred thread-girdle and shirt, giving some details about the sins of running about uncovered and walking with one boot, and thence proceeding to the sin of unseasonable chatter. Details are then given about good works, and those who can and cannot perform them; in which reference is made to Christians, Jews, and those of other persuasions (Chap. VI, 7). The next subjects treated of are reverencing the sun and fire, the sin of extinguishing fire, confession and renunciation of sin, atonement for sins, especially mortal sins, both those affecting others and those only affecting one's own soul; with a digression (Chap. VIII, 3) prohibiting the rich from hunting. The remainder of this first treatise is of a miscellaneous character, referring to the following subjects:--The Hâsar of time, priests passing away in idolatry, the discussion of religion, ceremonies not done aright, throwing a corpse into the sea, evil of eating in the dark, the four kinds of worship, when the angels should be invoked in worship, the ephemeral nature of life, proper looseness for a girdle, when the sacred cake set aside for the guardian spirits can be used, maintaining a fire where a woman is pregnant, providing a tank for ablution, the Gâthas not to be recited over the dead, food and drink not to be thrown away to the north at night, unlawful slaughter of animals, how the corpse of a pregnant woman should be carried, forgiveness of trespasses, evil of walking without boots, when the sacred girdle is to be assumed, breaking the spell of an inward prayer, ten women wanted at childbirth, and how the infant is to be treated, sin of beating an innocent person, evil of a false judge, men and women who do not marry, a toothpick must be free from bark, acknowledging the children of a handmaid, advantage of offspring and of excess in almsgiving, prayer on lying down and getting up, Avesta not to be mumbled, doubtful actions to be avoided or consulted about, evil of laughing during prayer, crowing of a hen, treatment of a hedgehog, after a violent death corruption does not set in immediately, necessity of a dog's gaze, putrid meat and hairy cakes or butter unfit for ceremonies, when a woman can do priestly duty, &c.

{p. lxii}

The second part also commences with the names and amounts of the various degrees of sin, followed by the proper meat-offerings for various angels and guardian spirits. Next come miscellaneous observations on the following subjects:--The simplest form of worship, necessity of submitting to a high-priest, advantage of a fire in the house, sin of clothing the dead, presentation of holy-water to the nearest fire after a death, nail-parings to be prayed over, advantage of light at childbirth, offerings to the angels, maintaining a fire where a woman is pregnant and a child is born, a toothpick must be free from bark, acknowledging the children of a handmaid, advantage of offspring and of excess in almsgiving, evil of drawing well-water at night, food not to be thrown away to the north at night, advantage of prayer at feasts, treatment of a hedgehog, praying when washing the face, the proper choice of a purifying priest, no one should be hopeless of heaven, necessity of a wife being religious as well as her husband, the ceremonies which are good works, and the cause of sneezing, yawning, and sighing. These are followed by a long account of the mystic signification of the Gâthas, with some information as to the errors which may be committed in consecrating the sacred cakes, and how the beginning of the morning watch is to be determined.

The third part, or appendix, commences with an account of how each of the archangels can be best propitiated, by a proper regard for the particular worldly existence which he specially protects. This is followed by a statement of the various degrees of sin, and of the amount of good works attributed to various ceremonies. Then come some account of the ceremonies after a death, particulars of those who have no part in the resurrection, the duty of submission to the priesthood, whether evil may be done for the sake of good, the place where people will rise from the dead, Aêshm's complaint to Aharman of the three things he could not injure in the world, the occasions on which the Ahunavar formula should be recited, and the number of recitals that are requisite, &c. And, finally, statements of the lengths of midday and afternoon shadows, blessings invoked

{p. lxiii}

from the thirty angels and archangels who preside over the days of the month, and the special epithets of the same.

With regard to the age of this treatise we have no precise information. All three parts are found in a MS. (M6) which was written in A.D. 1397 (see p. xxix), and nearly the whole is also found in the MS. K20, which may be a few years older (see p. xxvii), and in which the first part of the Shâyast lâ-shâyast is, followed by a Persian colophon dated A.Y. 700 (A.D. 1331), copied probably from an older MS. The text in both these old MSS. seems to have been derived almost direct from the same original, which must have been so old when M6 was written that the copyist found some words illegible (see notes on Chaps. VIII, 19, X, 34, XII, 14, 15, &c.) Now it is known from a colophon that a portion of M6, containing the book of Ardâ-Vîrâf and the tale of Gôst-i Fryânô, was copied from a MS. written in A.D. 1249; and we may safely conclude that the Shâyast lâ-shâyast was copied, either from the same MS., or from one fully as old. So far, therefore, as external evidence goes, there is every reason to suppose that the whole of the Shâyast lâ-shâyast, with its appendix[1], was existing in a MS. written about 630 years ago.

But internal evidence points to a far higher antiquity for the first two parts, as the compilers of those treatises evidently had access, not only to several old commentaries, but also to many of the Nasks, which have long been lost. Thus, the first treatise contains quotations from the commentaries of Afarg, Gôgôsasp, Kûshtanö-bûgêd, Mêdôkmâh, Rôshan, and Sôshyans, which are all frequently quoted in the Pahlavi translation of the Vendidad (see Sls. I, 3, 4, notes); besides mentioning the opinions of Mardbûd, Nêryôsang, Nôsâî Bûrz-Mitrô, and Vand-Aûharmazd, who are rarely or never mentioned in the Pahlavi Vendidad. It also quotes no less than eleven of the twenty Nasks or books of the complete Mazdayasnian literature which are no longer extant, besides the Vendidad, the only Nask that still survives in the full extent it had in Sasanian times.

[1. Except Chaps, XXII, XXIII (see the note on the heading of Chap. XXII).]

{p. lxiv}

The Nasks quoted are the Stûdgar (Sls. X, 8), the Bagh (X, 26), the Dâmdâd (X, 22), the Pâzôn (IX, 9), the Ratûstâîtîh (X, 29), the Kîdrast (X, 28), the Spend (X, 4), the Nihâdûm (X, 3, 22, 23), the Dûbâsrûgêd (X, 13), the Hûspâram (X, 21), and the Sakâdûm (X, 25), very few of which are mentioned even in the Pahlavi Vendidad. The second treatise mentions only one commentator, Vand-Aûharmazd, but it quotes eight of the Nasks no longer extant; these are the Stûdgar (Sls. XII, 32), the Dâmdâd (XII, 5, 15), the Spend (XII, 3, 11, 15, 29), the Bâg-yasnô (XII, 17), the Nihâdûm (XII, 15, 16), the Hûspâram (XII, 1, 7, 14, 31, XIII, 17), the Sakâdûm (XII, 2, 10, 12, XIII, 30), and the Hâdôkht (XII, 19, 30, XIII, 6, 10).

Of two of these Nasks, the Bagh and Hâdôkht, a few fragments may still survive (see notes on Sls. X, 26, Haug's Essays, p. 134, B.Yt. III, 25), but those of the latter Nask do not appear to contain the passages quoted in the Shâyast lâ-shâyast. With regard to the rest we only know that the Dâmdâd, Hûspâram, and Sakâdûm must have been still in existence about A.D. 881, as they are quoted in the writings of Zâd-sparam and Mânûskîhar, sons. of Yûdân-Yim, who lived at that time (see pp. xlii, xlvi); and the Nihâdûm and Hûspâram are also quoted in the Pahlavi Vendidad. It is true that the Dînkard gives copious information about the contents of all the Nasks, with two or three exceptions; and the Dînkard seems to have assumed its present form about A.D. 900 (see Bund. XXXIII, 11, notes); but its last editor was evidently merely a compiler of old fragments, so there is no certainty that many of the Nasks actually existed in his time.

Thus far, therefore, the internal evidence seems to prove that the two treatises called Shâyast lâ-shâyast, which constitute the first two parts of the present translation, are more than a thousand years old. On the other band, they cannot be more than three centuries older, because they frequently quote passages from the Pahlavi Vendidad which, as we have seen (p. xlvi, note 1), could not have assumed its present form before the time of Khûsrô Nôshirvân (A.D. 531-579). As they contain no reference to any

{p. lxv}

interference of the governing powers with the religion or priesthood, it is probable that they were written before the Muhammadan conquest (A.D. 636-651), although they do not mention the existence of any 'king of the kings,' the usual title of the Sasanian monarchs. And this probability is increased by there being. no direct mention of Muhammadanism among the contemporary religions named in Chap. VI, 7, unless we assume that passage to be a quotation from an earlier book. We may, therefore, conclude, with tolerable certainty, that the Pahlavi text of the first two parts of the present translation of the Shâyast lâ-shâyast was compiled some time in the seventh century; but, like the Bundahis and Bahman Yast, it was, for the most part, a compilation of extracts and translations from. far older writings, and may also have been rearranged shortly after the Muhammadan conquest.

The fragments which are collected in the appendix, or third part of the present translation, are probably of various ages, and several of them may not be mare than seven centuries old. The commentator Bakht-âfrid, whose work (now lost) is quoted in Chap. XX, 11, may have lived in the time of Khûsrô Nôshirvân (see B.Yt. I, 7). And Chap. XXI must certainly have been written in Persia, as the lengths of noonday shadows which it mentions are only suitable for 32 north latitude. As regards the last two chapters we have no evidence that they are quite five centuries old.

For the Pahlavi text of the Shâyast lâ-shâyast and its appendix we have not only the very old codex M6 (see p. xxix) for the whole of it, but also the equally old codex K20 (see p. xxvii) for all but Chaps. XV-XVII, XX, XXII, and XXIII in the appendix. In M6 the first two parts are separated by twenty folios, containing the Farhang-i Oîm-khadûk, and the second part is separated from the first three chapters of the appendix by four folios, containing the Patit-i Khûd; the next three chapters of the appendix are from the latter end of the second volume of M6, Chap, XXI is from the middle of the same, and the last two chapters are from some additional folios at the beginning of the

{p. lxvi}

first volume. In K20 the first two parts are separated by ninety-two folios, containing the Farhang-i Oîm-khadûk, Bundahis, Bahman Yast, and several other Pahlavi and Avesta texts; Chap. XVIII precedes the first part, Chap. XIX precedes the second part, and Chap. XXI is in an earlier . part of the MS.

Derived from K20 are the two modern copies P7 and K21 (see p. xxviii). Derived from M6 are the modern copy of the first two parts in M9 (No. 9 of the Haug collection in the State Library at Munich), a copy of Chaps. XIV, XV in L15 (No. 15 of the collection of Avesta and Pahlavi MSS. in the India Office Library at London), a copy of Chap. XX, 4-17 in O121 (No. 121 of the Ouseley collection in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, see p. xxx), and a copy of Chap. XVIII in Dastûr Jâmâspji's MS. of the Bundahis at Bombay. While an independent Pahlavi Version of Chap. XXIII occurs in a very old codex in the library of the high-priest of the Parsis at Bombay, which version has been used for the text of the present translation, because that chapter is incomplete in M6.

Pâzand versions of some of the chapters, chiefly in the appendix, are to be found in some MSS., but all derived apparently from M6. Thus, in the Pâzand MSS. L7 and L22 (Nos. 7 and 22 in the India Office Library at London, see p. xxxi), written in Avesta characters, Chaps. XVIII, XX, XV follow the last chapter of the Bundahis, and Chap. XIV occurs a few folios further on. And in the Pâzand MS. M7 (No. 7 of the Haug collection in the State Library at Munich), written in Persian characters, the following detached passages occur in a miscellaneous collection of extracts (fols. 126-133):--Chaps. XX, 14-16, X, 18, 19, IX, 9, 10, XX, 12, 13, 4, 5, VIII, 2, 4-14, XX, 11. A Persian version of Chap. XVIII also occurs in M5 (No. 5 of the same collection) on fol. 54.

It does not appear that the Shâyast lâ-shâyast has ever been hitherto translated into any European language[1], nor

[1. Except Chap. XVIII, which was translated into German by Justi, as the last chapter of his translation of the Bundahis (see p. xxvi).]

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is any Persian or Gugarâti translation of it known to the present translator, though a good deal of the matter it contains may be found in the Persian Rivâyats, but generally given in a different form. Owing to the technical character of the treatise, it is hazardous for any one but a Parsi priest to attempt to translate it, so that errors will, no doubt, be apparent to the initiated in the present translation. At the same time it must not be forgotten that the laws and customs mentioned in the text were those current in Persia twelve centuries ago, which may be expected to differ, in many details, from those of the Parsis in India at the present day. This is a consideration which a Parsi translator might be too apt to ignore; so that his thorough knowledge of present customs, though invaluable for the decipherment of ambiguous phrases, might lead him astray when dealing with clear statements of customs and rules now obsolete and, therefore, at variance with his preconceived ideas of propriety.


The Pahlavi texts selected for translation in this volume are specimens of three distinct species of writings. Thus, the Bundahis and its appendix, which deal chiefly with cosmogony, myths, and traditions, may be roughly compared to the book of Genesis. The Bahman Yast, which professes to be prophetical, may be likened unto the Apocalypse. And the Shâyast lâ-shâyast, which treats of religious laws regarding impurity, sin, ritual, and miscellaneous matters, bears some resemblance to Leviticus. But, though thus dealing with very different subjects, these texts appear to have all originated in much the same manner, a manner which is characteristic of the oldest class of the Pahlavi writings still extant. All three are full of translations from old Avesta texts, collected together probably in the latter days of the Sasanian dynasty, and finally rearranged some time after the Muhammadan conquest of Persia,; so that, practically, they may be taken as representing the ideas entertained of their prehistoric religion by Persians in the

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sixth century, but modified so far as to suit the taste and exigencies of the tenth.

But, notwithstanding the wide range of subjects embraced by these texts, it would be rash for the reader to assume that they afford him sufficient information for forming a decided opinion as to the character of the Parsi religion. The texts translated in this volume contain barely one-eleventh part of the religious literature extant in the Pahlavi language, without taking the Pahlavi versions of existing Avesta texts into account, which latter are even more important than the former, from a religious point of view, as they are considered more authoritative by the Parsis themselves. What proportion the literature extant may bear to that which is lost it is impossible, to guess; but, omitting all consideration of the possible contents of the lost literature, it is obvious that the remaining ten-elevenths of that which is extant may contain much which would modify any opinion based merely upon the one-eleventh here translated. What the untranslated portion actually contains no one really knows. The best Pahlavi scholar can never be sure that be understands the contents of a Pahlavi text until he has fully translated it; no amount of careful reading can make him certain that he does not misunderstand some essential part of it, and were he to assert the contrary he would be merely misleading others and going astray himself. How far the translations in this volume will enable the reader to judge of the Parsi religion may perhaps be, best understood by considering how far careful perusal of the books of Genesis, Leviticus, and the Revelation, which constitute one-eleventh part of the Protestant Bible, would enable him to judge of Christianity, without any further information.

But, though these translations must be considered merely as a contribution towards a correct account of mediæval Zoroastrianism, the Bundahis does afford some very definite information upon one of the fundamental doctrines of that faith. The Parsi religion has long been represented by its opponents as a dualism; and this accusation, made in good faith by Muhammadan writers, and echoed more

{p. lxix}

incautiously by Christians, has been advanced so strenuously that it has often been admitted even by Parsis themselves, as regards the. mediæval form of their faith. But neither party seems to have fairly considered how any religion which admits the personality of an evil spirit, in order to account for the existence of evil, can fail to become a dualism to a certain extent. If, therefore, the term is to be used in controversy, it behoves those who use it to define the limits of objectionable dualism with great. precision, so as not to include most of the religions of the world, their own among the number.

If it be necessary for a dualism that the evil spirit be omnipresent, omniscient, almighty, or eternal, then is the Parsi religion no dualism. The Bundahis distinctly asserts that the evil spirit is not omniscient and almighty (Chap. I, 16); that his understanding is backward (I, 3, 9), so that he was not aware of the existence of Aûharmazd till he arose from the abyss and saw the fight (I, 9); that he is unobservant and ignorant of the future (I, 19) till it is revealed to him by Aûharmazd (I, 21); that his creatures perish at the resurrection (I, 7, 21), and he himself becomes impotent (I, 21, III, 1) and will not be (I, 3, XXX, 32). Nowhere is he supposed to be in two places at once, or to know what is occurring elsewhere than in his own presence. So far, his powers are considerably less than those generally assigned by Christians to the devil, who is certainly represented as being a more intelligent and ubiquitous personage. On the other hand, Aharman is able to produce fiends and demons (Chap. I, 10, 24), and the noxious creatures are said to be his (III, 15, XIV, 30, XVIII, 2); in which respects he has probably rather more power than the devil, although the limits of the latter's means of producing evil are by no means well defined.

The origin and end of Aharman appear to be left as uncertain as those of the devil, and, altogether, the resemblance between these two ideas of the evil spirit is remarkably close; in fact, almost too close to admit of the possibility of their being ideas of different origin. The only important differences are that Zoroastrianism does not believe in an

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eternity of evil as Christianity does, and that Christianity bas been content to leave all its other ideas about the devil in a very hazy and uncertain form, while Zoroastrianism has not shrunk from carrying similar ideas to their logical conclusion. If, therefore, a belief in Aharman, as the author of evil, makes the Parsi religion a dualism, it is difficult to understand why a belief in the devil, as the author of evil, does not make Christianity also a dualism. At any rate, it is evident from the Bundahis that a Christian is treading on hazardous ground when be objects to Zoroastrianism on the score of its dualism.

Another misrepresentation. of the Parsi religion is shown to have no foundation in fact, by a passage in the Selections of Zâd-sparam. Several writers, both Greek and Armenian, contemporaries of the Sasanian dynasty, represent the Persians as believing that both Aûharmazd and Aharman were produced by an eternal being, who is evidently a personification of the Avesta phrase for 'boundless time.' This view was apparently confirmed by a passage in Anquetil Duperron's French translation of the Vendidad (XIX, 32-34), but this has long been known to be a mistranslation due to Anquetil's ignorance of Avesta grammar; so that the supposed doctrine of 'boundless time' being the originator of everything is not to be found in the Avesta; still it might have sprung up in Sasanian times. But the Selections of Zâd-sparam (I, 24) distinctly state that Aûharmazd produced the creature Zôrvân (precisely the term used in the phrase 'boundless time' in the Avesta). Here 'time,' although personified, is represented as a creature of Aûharmazd, produced after the first appearance of Aharman; which contradicts the statement of the Greek and Armenian writers completely, and shows how little reliance can be placed upon the assertions of foreigners regarding matters which they view with antipathy or prejudice.

With reference to the general plan of these translations of Pahlavi texts a few remarks seem necessary. In the first place, it will be obvious to any attentive reader of this introduction that a translator of Pahlavi has not merely to translate, but also to edit, the original text; and, in some

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cases, he has even to discover it. Next, as regards the translation, it has been already mentioned (p. xxvi) that the translator's object is to make it as literal as possible; in order, therefore, to check the inevitable tendency of free translation to wander from the meaning of the original text, all extra words added to complete the sense, unless most distinctly understood in the original, are italicised in the translation. And in all cases that seem doubtful the reader's attention is called to the fact by a note, though it is possible that some doubtful matters may be overlooked.

The notes deal not only with explanations that may be necessary for the general reader, but also with various readings and other details that may be useful to scholars; they are, therefore, very numerous, though some passages may still be left without sufficient explanation. References to the Vendidad, Yasna, and Visparad are made to Spiegel's edition of the original texts, not because that edition is superior, or even equal, in accuracy to that of Westergaard, but because it is the only edition which gives the Pahlavi translations, because its sections are shorter and, therefore, reference to them is more definite, and because the only English translation of the Avesta hitherto existing[1] is based upon Spiegel's edition, and is divided into the same sections.

No attempt has been made to trace any of the myths or traditions farther back than the Avesta, whence their descent is a fact that can hardly be disputed. To trace them back to earlier times, to a supposed Indo-Iranian personification or poetic distortion of meteorological phenomena, would be, in the present state of our knowledge, merely substituting plausible guesses for ascertained facts. In many cases, indeed, we have really no right to assume that an Avesta myth has descended from any such Indo-Iranian origin, as there have been ample opportunities for the infiltration of myths from other sources, yet unknown,

[1. Bleeck's Avesta; the Religious Books of the Parsees; from Professor Spiegel's German Translation; London, 1864. Not much reliance can te placed upon the correctness of this translation, owing to defects in the German one.]

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among the many nations with which the religion of the

Avesta has come in contact, 'both before and since the' time of Zaratûst. For, notwithstanding the ingenious rhetoric of the expounders of myths, it is still as unsafe, from a scientific point of view, to disbelieve the former existence of Zaratûst as it is to doubt that of Moses, or any other practically prehistoric personage, merely because mythic tales have gathered about his name in later times, as they always do about the memory of any individual who has become famous or revered.

In many cases the original Pahlavi word is appended, in parentheses, to its English equivalent in the translation. This has been done for the sake of explanation, when the word is technical or rare, or the translation is unusual. For, with regard to technical terms, it has been considered best, in nearly. all cases, to translate them by some explanatory phrase, in preference to filling the translation with foreign words which would convey little or no distinct meaning to the general reader. Some, of these technical terms have almost exact equivalents in English, such as those translated 'resurrection' and 'demon,' or can be well expressed by descriptive phrases, such as 'sacred twigs' and 'sacred cakes? Other terms are only approximately rendered by such words as 'archangel' and 'angel;' others can hardly be expressed at all times by the same English words, but must change according to the context, such as the term variously rendered by 'worship, ceremonial, prayer, or rites.' While the meaning of some few terms is so technical, complicated, or uncertain, that it is safer to use the Pahlavi word itself, such as Tanâpûhar, Frasast, Gêtîkharid, Dvâzdah-hômâst, &c.

The following is a list of nearly all the technical terms that have been translated, with the English equivalents generally used to express them:--Âfrin, 'blessing;' aharmôk, 'apostate, heretic;' aharûbö, 'righteous;' aharûbö-dâd, calms, almsgiving;' akdînô, 'infidel;' ameshôspend, 'archangel;' armêst, 'helpless;' ast-hômand, 'material;' aûsôfrîd, 'propitiation, offering;' baghô-bakhtô, 'divine providence;' baresôm, 'sacred twigs or twig-bundle;'

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baresômdân, 'twig stand;' dakhmak (Huz. khazân), 'depository for the dead;' dashtânistân, 'place for menstruation;' dînô, 'religion, revelation, religions rites;' drâyân-gûyisnîh, 'unseasonable chatter;' drevand, 'wicked;' drônô, 'sacred cake;' drûg, 'fiend;' frashakard, 'renovation of the universe;' fravâhar, 'guardian spirit;' fravardîkân, 'days devoted to the guardian spirits;' ganrâk maînôk, 'evil spirit;' garzisn, 'confession of sin;' gâs, 'period of the day, time;' gâsânbâr, 'season-festival;' gasnö, 'feast;' gâûs-dâk (Av. gâus hudhau), 'meat-offering, sacred butter;' gavîd-rastakân, 'the heterodox;' gîv (Av. gâus givya), 'sacred milk;' gômèz, 'bull's urine;' hamêmâl, 'accuser;' hamrêd, direct pollution, contagion;' hazârak, 'millennium;' hîkhar, 'bodily refuse;' kâr, 'duty;' kêshvar, 'region;' khayebît, destroyer;' khrafstar, 'noxious creature;' khvêtûk-das, 'next-of-kin marriage;' kirfak, 'good works;' kûstîk, 'sacred thread-girdle;' magh, 'stone ablution-seat;' maînôk, 'spirit;' marg-argân, 'worthy of death, mortal sin;' myazd, 'feast, sacred feast;' nasâî, 'corpse, dead matter;' nasâî katak, 'corpse chamber;' nîrang, 'religious formula, ritual;' nîrangistân, 'code of religious formulas;' nîyâyisn, 'salutation;' padâm, 'mouth-veil;' pâdîyâvîh, 'ablution, ceremonial ablution;' pâhlûm ahvân, 'best existence;' paîtrêd, 'indirect pollution, infection;' parâhôm, 'hôm-juice;' parîk, 'witch;' patîtîh, 'renunciation of sin;' patîyârak, adversary;' pôryôdkêshîh, 'primitive faith;' rad, 'chief, spiritual chief, primate, high-priest;' rîstâkhêz, resurrection;' satûîh, 'the three nights;' sêdâ, 'demon;' shapîk, sacred shirt;' shnâyisn, 'propitiation, gratification;' shnûman, 'dedication formula, propitiation;' spênâk maînôk, 'beneficent spirit;' tanû-i pasînö, 'future existence;' tôgisn, 'retribution;' tôrâ-i khadû-dâd, 'primeval ox; 'vâg, inward prayer;' vigârisn, 'atonement for sin;' vishâd-dûbârisnîh, 'running about uncovered;' yasnô, 'ritual;' yast, prayers, ritual, form of prayer, worship, consecration;' yastanö, 'to consecrate, solemnize, propitiate, reverence;' yâtûk, 'wizard;' yazdân, 'angels, sacred beings, celestial beings, God;' yazisn,

{p. lxxiv}

'ceremonial, ceremony, sacred ceremony, ceremonial worship, worship, reverence, rites, prayer;' yêdatô, 'angel;' zand, 'commentary;' zôhar or zôr, 'holy-water;' zôt, officiating priest.'

With regard to the orthography of Pahlavi names and words, advantage has been taken of the system of transliteration adopted for this series of Translations of the Sacred Books of the East, by making use of italics for the purpose of distinguishing between certain Pahlavi letters which were probably pronounced very nearly alike. Thus besides the usual letters ### for v and ### for z, the Pahlavi letter ### is often used to denote those same sounds which, in such cases, are represented by the italic letters v and z. An extension of the same mode of distinction to the letters l and r would be desirable, but has not bean attempted in this volume; these two letters are usually written ###, but in a. few words they are represented by ### or by ### in which cases they would be better expressed by the italics l and r. Some attempt has been made to adhere to one uniform orthography in such names as occur frequently, but as there is no such uniformity in the various languages and writings quoted, nor even in the same manuscript, some deviations can hardly be avoided.

In conclusion it may be remarked that a translator of Pahlavi generally begins his career by undervaluing the correctness of Pahlavi texts and the literary ability of their authors, but he can hardly proceed far without finding abundant reason for altering his opinion of both. His depreciatory view of Pahlavi literature is generally due partly to want of knowledge, and partly to his trusting too much to the vile perversions of Pahlavi texts usually supplied by Pâzand writers. But as his knowledge of Pahlavi increases he becomes better able to appreciate the literary merits of the texts. If the reader should have already formed some such low estimate of the ability of Pahlavi writers, it may be hoped that these translations will afford him sufficient reason for changing his opinion; if not, they will have signally failed in doing those writers justice.

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